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.