All is going according to Lars' plan. He didn't post any guards outside or to escort Jonnie specifically so that none of Jonnie's allies might be tempted to make a rescue attempt. He's even sent a commando (a Brigante military unit, not an individual) ahead to the compound for added security. All the while Lars imagines his beloved Hitler approving of his tactical acumen, what with ordering someone at gunpoint to go into a booby-trapped house instead of putting a bullet to good use. Though he's starting to get Hitler and Terl's advice confused, so that every time he thinks of his Führer it's rendered as "Hitler---or was it Terl?"
Meanwhile Jonnie is contemplating escape, where to hit Lars' neck cast to finish the job of breaking it, and how familiar the Brigante "creatures" are with their guns. Since the Thompsons are so dilapidated and ancient you have to know a trick to recocking them when the inevitable dud rounds occur. Jonnie briefly considers the "let me show you a trick with your gun" move, but soon they're at the compound.
Lars taunts that they found the fueled and waiting battle plane back at the Academy and put it up, which explains why Ker and Angus assumed all was well and took off. But he promises (lies) that he'll let Jonnie use a truck to gather up his horses to take home. And then Jonnie is forced out at gunpoint into a wide meadow with no cover or escape. Could this be the end?
No. Hubbard already told us that Bittie bites it, not Jonnie. The tension of an uncertain future is supposed to be replaced with the tension of an inevitable conclusion rolling nearer. Mostly I'm feeling impatience, the residual annoyance that comes from reading Battlefield Earth, and a strong desire to play Team Fortress 2.
Back to Chapter Six