TEC: Chapter 51: Equipment
Murphy is packing for his big trip to Babylon, and it shouldn’t surprise any of us that he is a SUPER SPECIAL kind of packer:
Murphy began the checklist that had almost become second nature to him as a world traveler.
Oh, yeah, Murphy, you’re a real expert. Man, remember that time you don’t pack any protection for your hands when you were scaling a mountain? Or that other time when you thought the only equipment you needed for spelunking was one flashlight?
He pointed as he ticked items off: passport…visa…copies of passport and visa…airline tickets…cash…euros…credit cards…maps…contact phone numbers…toilet articles…clothes…equipment…What are you forgetting? You always forget something!
I don’t doubt that. Especially since you classify “clothes” and “equipment” as one item each. Very weird.
Eh, never mind that! Because Murphy gets a call from Stephanie Kovacs, who, when last we saw her, was just getting over being beaten and then blackballed by her abusive ass of a boyfriend.
Which Stephanie puts in very vague terms for Murphy’s benefit:
“The past few days have been really hard on me, and I had to make some difficult decisions that have affected my career.”
As I’ve pointed out before, this is just an odd scenario in so many ways. But it’s especially sad that Stephanie (and Phillips and LaHaye) paint this as the natural course of events: that Stephanie’s decision to leave her abuser would naturally ruin her career, and that there is nothing to be done about this, and no other way things could possibly have gone.
And I also have a sneaking suspicion that Stephanie didn’t reveal that Shane beat her because she has a sneaking suspicion of how much sympathy and help Murphy would have for her.
Not to mention that Stephanie has gone and gotten herself RTC-ized, which means that whole abusive-boyfriend-ruined-career thing is no big deal anymore:
“I have a kind of peace in the midst of all this stress.”
“That’s God’s specialty.” [said Murphy]
Too bad God’s specialty isn’t protecting women from abusive partners. Just sayin’.
And being RTC-ized, Stephanie has learned to be suitably ashamed of her monogamous relationship with a fellow single person.
“I…I had a personal relationship with Mr. Barrington.”
And being RTC-ized, Stephanie knows that her problems are nothing in comparison to a man’s:
“I think you may be in some kind of danger. …[Shane is] working for a group of people who were the financial backers behind Barrington Communications. …[Shane said] ‘people like Murphy, they see it all coming, in the Bible. So they have to be stopped. Before they can persuade others to resist.’ I think when he said ‘have to be stopped,’ he was talking about eliminating you permanently. You must be very careful.”
Now, this really isn’t telling Murphy anything he doesn’t already know, but he thanks Stephanie anyway, and then gives her the extremely excellent advice to
go to the police leave town change her locks buy a Bible.
Helpful guy, that Murph.