TEoD: Chapter 8: Return of the Ice Maiden
Whew, sorry, guys! I had vacation and then something wonderful happened.
Anyway, thanks for sticking with me. Back to Preston University…
Michael gives Isis a call. In the previous book, Isis was a tad annoyed that he had waited so long to contact her. And in the book previous to that, even more annoyed. This time, she barely bats an eye when the man who kissed her and said he wanted her in his life…ONCE AGAIN only contacts her when he wants something. So I guess she’s getting used to Michael Murphy’s own particular brand of affection.
As he dials, he reminisces about Isis:
At first he thought that she might be an ice maiden. She seemed preoccupied much of the time, interested only in her work.
After her father’s death, she had lived her life in hiding. Perhaps in an effort to avoid dealing with her loss, she holed up in her office at the Parchments of Freedom Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Yep, because when a woman has a successful career, it can only be because she is hiding some deep inner pain and failing to deal with it in a healthy manner. Can’t just be because she’s had a lifelong passion for the work, as established in Babylon Rising (written by a different author, natch).
Also, Phillips is not only retconning Greg Dinallo’s establishment of Isis’s character, but his own. Because in the previous book, Phillips himself made mention of Isis dating other men in her life. So, much as Murphy would no doubt prefer that she just sit by her phone, awaiting his calls while he does whatever he wants, it appears she has a life beyond being an ice maiden.
Sigh. Anyway, to add insult to injury, Murphy remembers “his rescue of Isis from the bandits” on Ararat, but not that time Isis rescued his ass in the sewers in Babylon Rising. Figures. And once he talks to her, although he says he’s missed her, he gets right down to business—he’ll be in Washington in a few weeks, and in the meantime, would like Isis to look into this “King Yamani” guy. Then the “class bell” rings (because I guess Murphy teaches middle school now), and they have to hang up.
Now off the phone, Murphy gets an update on the possible fingerprint of Meth’s that he lifted in the last book. You’d think such an assignment would be far outside her job description, but she nonetheless is keeping an ear open for a call from the FBI. Being an ultra-conservative RTC, Murphy makes a snide remark about government bureaucracy (because doubtless the FBI has nothing better to do than examine a fingerprint on a Band-Aid submitted by a rogue archaeology professor) and departs for class.
Oh, wait. That “five minutes” Isis was worried about? No big thing to Murphy. First, catch up on the FBI. Then, set a lunch date with Pastor Bob Wagoner. Shari took a call from him, and he needs Murphy’s advice. Because who doesn’t.
So, ready for another of Murphy’s classes? Well, too bad, because it’s coming up next!