Jonnie inspects the package with "AWFUL SECRET" on it in "the semiliterate curved hooks and loops" that were "Ker's idea of a Psychlo alphabet." He holds it up against the light to see if there's a bomb in the envelope. A bomb, in a letter from Ker, the closest thing Jonnie has to an ally amongst the Psychlos stranded on Earth.
Ker doesn't believe in paragraphs, which is unfortunate in a letter that's close to a page long, and he has a habit of writing out his laughs in the narrative ("Ha. Ha.") But he's got a wry, sarcastic style I appreciate.
He opens with a joke about personal letters being forbidden by company policy, and that he could be docked three months' pay for writing this missive ("Ha. Ha.") Then Ker gets down to business, telling Jonnie that a certain thing he said he'd warn Jonnie about is happening. A flunked-out pilot named Lars, who has been talking to someone Ker won't mention because of security "(security, get it?)", has just been promoted as "you know who"'s assistant.
They ordered some other Psychlos to refit the breathe-gas pumps to a certain someone's quarters, but they refused due to old enmity towards "you know who," who they are certain murdered "old you know who." So Ker got wrangled in to doing the job, and he's making it as complicated as possible to buy time. He's also asked that Jonnie come in incognito to act as his assistant.
Addition: Claw this letter up so it don't cost me three months' pay---or my furry neck. No ha, ha.
Ker might be my favorite character now.
There's some environmental symbolism as Jonnie tears up the letter while a massive storm rolls nearer, and then he's off with Stormalong, racing along in the trike towards the base. "Jonnie knew he had to get to America now. At once!"
Immediately! Posthaste! As soon as possible! Quickly!
"You know who"s - 13
Sarcastic "Ha Ha"s - 5
Non-sarcastic "Ha Ha"s - 1
Back to Chapter Three