TEC: Chapter 48: Saint Ronnie
Murphy drives back to Raleigh after saving TEH WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. He thinks for half a second about how many people might have died from the bombs, but then gets caught in flashbacks to the church bombing in the first book, where his wife died.
Not that this is a bad thing for Michael Murphy to do. For once, he’s behaving naturally–a recent trauma has made memories of a past trauma come to the surface.
But the next day, when he gets back to work (oh yeah, his job!) he is feeling a bit better.
Murphy recalled the words of King Solomon. They had been a favorite of President Ronald Reagan:
Okay, this might be a silly point to nitpick, but that’s just a weird way to align yourself with Reagan. Because judging by how many weddings and funerals I’ve heard these words spoken at, they are the favorites of a lot of people.
Oh, and they also made a little song from the words; you might have heard of it. Still, Murphy, you keep on with your bad self. Saint Ronnie would be proud.
Shari is so happy to see Murphy and was so worried about him. Considering how close Murphy and Shari are and how she’s basically the only family he has, you’d think he would call her to let her know he’s okay, seeing as how he has no problem sending her “manic” e-mails at 3:00 in the morning when he wants something. But after regaling her with tales of how he foiled Moar Arab terrorists, Murphy does actually ask about Shari’s welfare, specifically her breakup with Paul, which it appears Murphy knew about before Paul did.
“I couldn’t continue in a relationship with someone who had different values than me, even though I love him.”
Oh yeah, evidence shows that you really love and respect him a lot.
Of course, Murphy has nothing deep to say about this, and oddly, he doesn’t give a trite speech. He just tells Shari that he’ll pray for her. Then he goes to call Isis, who also didn’t know that he was okay after being in the thick of the attempted bombing. That’s right, Murphy called neither Shari nor Isis to make sure they knew he was safe. What a guy!
Then their conversation turns to the actual hook of the novel: the search for the writing on the wall. Bizarrely, despite Murphy’s crap record of actually producing what he says he will, the Parchments of Freedom Foundation is going to finance the expedition, with the caveat that they take along a new Foundation employee,
Wilford Brimley Wilfred Bingman, another archeologist. So maybe the Foundation doesn’t trust Murphy quite as much as we thought.
This is what, the two hundredth time Murphy has mused that his feelings for Isis are more than Just Good Friends, and he seals the deal with these very straightforward words that convey the honest depth of his feelings:
“I’ll call you as soon as I get the green light [to travel to Iraq]. I’m looking forward to being with you, Isis.”
Yep, the True Love couldn’t be any more clear.