Our villain, lady and gents.
So you can imagine his shock when he sees the daily photo of the new, Lodeless minesite. While boggling at it, Terl notices the mineral scan report from the drone - they're not primarily photographers, y'see, they passively survey mineral composition. From the scan he sees a distinct lack of gold, but the presence of the six minerals that make up a Psychlo explosive called "trigdite."
Huh, so L. Ron can make up alien words when he wants to. He's just lazy.
Anyway, Terl concludes that the animals have blown up his precious nest egg out of spite, tears up the photos, stomps on the scraps, pounds on walls, and has a merry little temper tantrum. When his secretary asks through the door what's wrong, Terl "cleverly" explains that a machine broke.
Imagine Sauron doing this and you'll see why better authors take steps to ensure that their villains don't end up like Terl.
Terl gets down to business.
He felt cool, dispassionate, masterful. He knew exactly what he would do, knew it step by step. He would have to remove all possible threats to his life. He would have to cover all traces.
First he would commit the perfect crime. He had worked it all out.
Then he would release the drone and exterminate the animals.
I guess he's in that stage of drunkenness where you think you're sober and calculating, even as you're pushing on a door marked "Pull" for five minutes before losing your temper and punching through a window.
Terl considers killing Shallow Female Love Interest and Annoying Underage Sidekick, and has a brief fantasy about putting similar explosive collars on the horses and detonating them in front of the cage, just to make the girls panic, before killing the smaller female first to wind up the larger one even more. Which goes to show that even in full damage control mode, Terl can be cartoonishly sadisitc. But Terl remembers Jonnie's terrifying psychic powers, and so consigns himself to killing the girls once his pet human is put down.
Next chapter, the perfect crime!
Back to Chapter Seven