Friday, November 19, 2010

Part 29, Chapter 5 - The Treaty of Kariba

The following afternoon is the big treaty signing ceremony, with Jonnie and Sir Robert, the Selachee bank representatives, and all the alien emissaries attending. The signing itself takes an hour due to the number of people involved and all the pomp, which of course Jonnie and Foxy are dismissive of.

But the document is signed and copies transmitted to all the alien ships, and then it's time for the prisoner exchange. In all the fighting across the planet, only thirteen humans have been taken prisoner, and though they weren't abused none of the aliens who held them captive had the right food for them, so the ex-POWs are rushed to the hospital for intravenous feeding.

Strange how only the Psychlos have had to use masks to survive on Earth, but all the other aliens who don't are still unable to metabolize terrestrial food.

Once that's done the alien fleet departs to escort those dastardly Tolneps home, and a naked and bound Lord Schleim is teleported to his homeworld's slave markets as promised. A lengthy footnote "excerpted" from Galactic Bank, Customer Service Summaries, Vol. 43562789A (I'm rolling my eyes at that number) mentions how Schleim's ignominious return prompted the late Arsebogger's newspaper to run a smear campaign against Capt. Snowl, which culminated in Snowl's death by angry mob, the assassination of Schleim and the whole House of Plunder, and the collapse of Tolnep's economy due to its inability to continue its slave trade or pay its fine. So the whole race ended up imprisoned for tax reasons, defanged, sterilized, and sold as slaves, with the Hawvins left ruling Tolnep.

And so another species is exterminated, and this genocide is presented as satisfying and just. After all, some representatives of the race opposed the glorious Jonnie Goodboy Tyler. It is only right for every last man, woman and child of these disgusting aliens to be wiped from the stars, never to trouble humanity again.

With humans the undisputed owners of Earth, Dries Gloton triumphantly serves Sir Robert with a notice of delinquency of payment, and the week-long deadline to pay off the bank begins. While all the aliens are assembled, Dries mentions that if they are interested in Earth, there's no need to fight for it.

The lords shrugged. War was the surer method, said one. The mental health of the people depended upon war, said another. How was a state to demonstrate its power without war? said Browl. The Galactic Bank would have a hard time surviving without making war loans, quipped Dom. Rulers only became famous when they prosecuted war, laughed another. They were in a jovial mood.

Jonnie listened to all this with a kind of horror. The impersonal cruelty of large government was brought home to him.

This is a preview of what's to come, as well as some more of the "government is bad!" theme. Also note that the aliens all seem to be in pre-WWI mindsets when it comes to warfare's causes and justifications, and it's an open question whether or not Hubbard thinks this is an accurate summation of international conflict.

Dries starts passing out brochures touting Earth's value as real estate, and explains that the planet would make a good colony and will almost certainly be up for auction once the week is up. The aliens all decide to stick around, and Jonnie is of course horrified by Dries' actions.

Jonnie said to Dries Gloton, "So it was all just a question of money!"

Dries smiled. "We have not the slightest feeling of hostility toward you. Banking is banking and business is business. One must pay one's obligations. Any child knows that."

And now we're officially in the endgame. Just over a hundred pages to go.

Back to Chapter Four

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