TEC: Chapter 35: Discovering Something New

So, a note before we start: as was pointed out in the comments of the last installment, one of our authors, Tim LaHaye, has died.

Not Raptured, mind you.  Just died.  Like a normal person.

I feel bad for his family and friends, as I always do when someone dies, but part of me is not sure why I should feel bad, since 1) if his family and friends share his beliefs, they are presumably thinking that the best thing that could ever happen to someone has happened, and 2) this is a guy who, if someone dies and didn’t believe exactly what he did, thinks they get to be tortured for all eternity.

When Jesus comes back in Glorious Appearing, Rayford Steele tells his Raptured wife that she gets “one cosmic told I-told-you-so.”  And that’s the annoying thing about being an atheist: we don’t get that.  Because there is no cosmic afterlife for anyone.

Still, though, I’ll take a worldly told-you-so: there’s no Rapture.  Jesus isn’t coming back to get anyone before they die.

Sorry not sorry.


Anyway!  Back to our regularly-scheduled heathen critiquing:

Isis and Murphy are on the third floor by the stairs.  The Two Moar Arabs just got to the third floor and headed down an aisle away from them; Talon and the Other Arab are still on the elevator.

So what are Murphy and Isis to do?

Why, they dash up to the FOURTH floor, of course!

And then, a moment later, the Moar Arabs head to the fourth floor, too!

Gee, never saw that one coming.

But Murphy has a plan!

“Come back here where the two directions of bookshelves converge.”

Phillips…doesn’t have much experience writing action scenes, does he?  WHO TALKS LIKE THAT???

The Two Moar Arabs split up when they reach the fourth floor, I guess so they can increase their chances of being overpowered.


Fadil turned down an aisle and started toward Murphy and Isis.

Murphy whispered, “When he gets near, step into the aisle and say something to him in Arabic.”  Then Murphy disappeared.

Hey, neat trick!


What a surprise that, once again, Murphy abandons Isis to do all the actual work.  Also, gotta love that our brave and resourceful heroine isn’t even allowed to come up with her own plan.

Fadil was caught completely off guard as he approached the end of the aisle.  All of a sudden a beautiful woman with red hair stepped in front of him, took a sexy pose, and smiled.

“My, but you are handsome,” she murmured.  “I’ll bet all of the women want to go out with you.”

So our heroine, who once saved a little girl by pretending to be an ancient goddess…is reduced to striking sexy poses.


We are told that Fadil, of course, isn’t actually a trained terrorist.  (Um, so why then did Talon bring him along?)  So the sight of this white woman completely flummoxes him, to the point that Murphy can get the jump on him and “fire a reverse punch.”


Having knocked him out, Murphy wastes precious time posing Fadil as though he had fallen asleep at a table.  Inexplicably, all this ruckus has attracted no attention.

So then, instead of making a break for it down the stairs and out the door (it’s insulting!), Murphy leads Isis to a ladder that leads to the roof.  Then, instead of just using the fire escape (“I’ve got a better idea.“), they use the roof to get to the elevator shaft (?????), so they can hop onto the top of the elevator so they can get back into the building and ride the elevator to the first floor.

Hey, idiots, there are STAIRS RIGHT THERE!!!

And the funny part is that Talon doesn’t buy that they definitely went to the roof.  Team Talon once again splits up so they can cover both the roof and the interior.  Jeepers, seems Murphy didn’t think of that!  And I will once again point out that they could have dashed down the stairs and been completely gone by now.

But then we wouldn’t have the HILARIOUS scene where Murphy and Isis hop onto the top of the elevator, then into the elevator, startling a grandmother and her two grandchildren.  Because Phillips could not care less about women over the age of forty who don’t look like supermodels, the grandmother isn’t even given a line.  And Murphy swears the children to secrecy because they’re being chased by “evil men.”

I’m kinda surprised that he didn’t say “evil Arabs.”

Also, no matter how much you swear little kids to secrecy, I’m willing they would have spilled the beans if the Evil Men were suddenly looming over them.  In other words, Murphy just really endangered this little family.  And it was totally unnecessary, because again, THEY COULD HAVE BEEN GONE TEN MINUTES AGO RIGHT OUT THE FRONT DOOR.

And it actually winds up being the SAME THING, because one of the terrorists, Rashad, sees them as they get to the front door.  So the whole go-upstairs-go-to-the-roof-drop-onto-the-elevator plan was completely pointless.

And as they run out of the library, we are told that Murphy grabs Isis’s hand as they run.  Sure, jerk, just drag her everywhere.  Women love that.

This all leads to an alley fight, where Murphy conveniently knocks the gun away from Rashad so they can fight hand-to-hand and Murphy can once again demonstrate that he is an expert in karate-do.

He flashed to the face of Terence Li, a young Cantonese archaeology student who had taught Murphy the secret of drunken-man fighting.


So Phillips has seen Drunken Master, so I guess that’s cool.  But the fight is over in one-third of a page, so not so cool.

Then Murphy and Isis wander off, but not far, because they idiotically left all their books and papers back in the library, when they could very easily have taken them along.  Nope, they are forced to hang in a coffee shop for THREE HOURS until they can assume the coast is clear, then they head back to the library, where, in a COMPLETELY SHOCKING TWIST, Talon has taken all the papers!

But friendly librarian Alvena Smidt fills our heroes in on Talon: that he is from South Africa and speaks Afrikaans.  Murphy is pleased at this information, because it “may give us a way to track down more information about him.”

Except that Murphy has already interacted with Talon twice, so this should not come as a surprise.  I mean, isn’t Murphy supposed to a cosmopolitan world-traveler, like another, better archaeologist?


So why wouldn’t he recognize a South African accent when he heard one?  Hell, Ive only been to two countries besides my own, and I know a South African accent when I hear one.

But this is just time that we’re driving home that Phillips decided Talon is South African, when he clearly was no such thing in the first book.

Poor Greg Dinallo.



Posted on July 27, 2016, in The Europa Conspiracy. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Wow, Murphy’s escape plan is stupid. Why bother taking the easy way out, when you can make things way more complicated, letting the bad guys get your notes in the process? But I guess Murphy isn’t smart enough to just make things up as he goes, like Indiana Jones.

    • “Why bother taking the easy way out, when you can make things way more complicated”

      Because that’s how they do it in films! IN FILMS!
      Doesn’t matter why, it’s something that happens in thrillers so it has to happen here. That’s good writing!

      • Yeah, films like “Airplane!”

        “Captain, maybe we ought to turn on the searchlights now?”
        “No… that’s just what they’ll be expecting us to do.”

  2. Funny for a teetotaling Christian learn drunken man style martial arts.

    And not-terribly-sweet-or-at-all-merciful-Christ, Isis’ sexy distraction is an atrocity. It’s sexist, demeaning and pretty damn stupid if you assume the Arabs must be religious fanatics who hate Western decadence and female promiscuity.

  3. Isisbot, Isisbot, Isisbot.

    Which is being driven by a team of really bored interns.

    And yeah, what would have been so bad about just running down the stairs? Do they have Daredevil? (GURPS advantage – when you take unnecessary risks you get a +1 to your actions.)

    “He comes from South Africa and speaks Afrikaans. Which is only, like, three million people. I’ve reduced your search space by a factor of more than 2,000 already. Hey, I’m pretty sure he’s male, too!”

  4. Not Raptured, mind you. Just died. Like a normal person.

    That’s just what they want you to think. I’m not buying it until I see the body.

    1) if his family and friends share his beliefs, they are presumably thinking that the best thing that could ever happen to someone has happened…

    Pretty sure that’s only the second best thing they think could’ve happened, all things considered.

    • There’s a scenario. “The Rapture has happened. Only Tim LaHaye was taken.”

      Third best thing, at least – the Unsaved don’t know he’s laughing at them.

  5. Fadil was caught completely off guard as he approached the end of the aisle. All of a sudden a beautiful woman with red hair stepped in front of him, took a sexy pose, and smiled.
    “My, but you are handsome,” she murmured. “I’ll bet all of the women want to go out with you.”
    And Fadil was like “yeah they all do” but he was lying because he thought he was awesome but he wasn’t and he wasn’t more popular than Michael Murphy just because everyone pretended to like him and went to his parties and not Michael’s.
    Michael had a key up his sleeve, a secret gift that made him the special and the most sexy of the men that Isis had ever made because even though he was like completely badass and had really strong muscles and was ripped- not like he’s in the gym all day and takes roids like those tards I hate, though but like a fighter, like the highly trained warrior he was, but also there was like a really cool scar on his chest which he showed women if he really loved them and they’d be all like
    “Michael who hurt you”
    and he’d be scowl and say
    “too many people babe, too many to even count”
    which would be a poetic way of saying he’d been hurt a lot because he had a job as a professor so he really can count, oviously.
    and then would look into the mist of the soul that he had been destroyed but not completely like a fine granite castle, made of the strongest rock, strong and savaged in the middle of the siege, proud and standing with the tallest might against onslaught after onslaught from all the haters who were jealous of his mad skills and sexual prowiss and also his brilliant history knowledge. Then she’d see the wounds in not just his real skin, but in the skin that was inside, that he hid behind this impenatrable exterior and she’d see the real him and that would get her totally hot for him, just like he planned.
    He was a smart one.
    But then the Arab who was a total douche got hit with one of Murphy’s awesome reverse punches which he’d practiced all the time, and it came naturally to him too so he didn’t need to because he had ninja blood from his granpa who had been a marine in Japan in Vietnam in the forties and had come back with all the training when he’d lived in the mountain jungles outside Rangoon and had learnt the Way of the Drunk, which is so powerful it changes your DNA and makes you ninja. This was Murphy’s secret, but he’d also worked hard and reverse punched Fadil (he also called him Fagil because he was witty) and the stupid Arab was completely k.oed BOOM.
    They put him on some books to make him look like a nerd so that Talon would just rip him to pieces when he saw him and they laughed and ran off to kick some more Arabs and win freedom, and Isis was hot for Michael Murphy just like he’d planned.
    “A hero and a gentleman!” she said as he caught her when she fainted again and then they went onto the roof. Before that though, I forgot, they also found out Talon was from South Africa and Michael said “now weve got him!” and then they went to the roof.

    • With lasers.

      • Hi there, small world! Aren’t you the one who posted a video of a flash flood in Coronado National Forest, near where I live, a couple of years or so back? I read your blog for a while back then. I guess I lost it in one of my rare mass tab closings. Hmm, looking at it, no new posts in about 5 years, maybe that’s why I haven’t checked in on it lately. Still, good to see you around again, assuming I remember correctly.

        Coincidentally, I just had to take a detour to get home tonight, due to a similar if less impressive flood.

  6. *sigh* It’s pretty much official that the only thing left of BAMF!Isis is her command of several languages. And the red hair.

    *has a moment of silence for BAMF!Isis.*

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