Monday, November 29, 2010

Part 30, Chapter 4 - To All Races Except the Psychlos, Anyway

I like to imagine the reception those alien ambassadors got when they returned home from a conference over a backwater world. "Well everybody, we didn't get the planet, though we are getting a share of Tolnep's fine for bad conduct. Oh, and the guy who annihilated the Psychlo empire also blew up one of Tolnep's moons to make a point, threatened to do the same to our capital if we annoy him, and forced us to disarm and remodel our economies to suit him." Would they be sacked? Would there be riots? Would horrified leaders order swift preemptive strikes to keep their worlds from sharing Asart and Psychlo's fates?

In the real world, probably. But in Battlefield Earth everything is hunky-dory. The last plot point has been resolved, the conflict defused, and there's nothing left but to wrap up some loose ends and get to our happy ending.

This will take another eighty pages.

Dries the loan shark signs Earth's mortgage papers, with "PAID IN FULL!" prominently written on them. Lord Voraz the loan shark's boss is awed, explaining how Jonnie's plan will allow the unemployed to form an "independent working class," something that all those moronic alien economists can't produce on their own, and as a side affect force banks to focus on the "little creature," thereby robbing the alien nobility of its influence.

It's pretty amazing how all those dozens of extraterrestrial civilizations turned out to have near-identical societies.

Voraz was looking at MacAdam and the baron now. "Do you know what he just did? In that short period in that room in there he freed more people than have been freed in all the revolutions in history!"

It's not enough for Jonnie to liberate his home planet from alien overlords. It's not enough for him to become heir to the throne of Scotland (by way of blood transfusion). It's not enough for him to all but singlehandedly destroy a million-world empire. It's not enough for him to crack scientific secrets that have eluded countless alien races for hundreds of thousands of years. It's not enough for him to resolve war forever. No, he also has to be the great liberator of the common man, too.

At this point I'm impressed that Hubbard hasn't had these backwards alien deify Jonnie. OH WAIT. His fellow humans did that hundreds of pages ago.

Well, this book isn't done glorifying Jonnie yet. The Small Gray Bankers need to come up with a new banknote, so they decide that Jonnie is part Selachee (he has partially-gray eyes, you see) and should be on the new currency. They'll do a three-dimensional, full-color portrait of him in his formal garb, including the ridiculous dragon helmet and "a special ink that can make the buttons flash." At MacAdam's suggestion they decide to throw in an exploding planet Psychlo for the background, and the legend will read "Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, who brought happiness to all races."

"The very thing!" said Voraz. "It doesn't relegate it to just destroying Psychlo. Because that isn't all he really did. People will know fast enough. His popularity will be not just in the stars but all over the stars and planets in sixteen universes!"

Jonnie is, of course, not happy with all the attention, though of course he doesn't refuse or anything. The chapter ends with the bankers, alien and human alike, laughing that they can work together just fine, and MacAdam once again telling Jonnie how awesome he is.

I think the only reason Jonnie isn't basking in the glorification like a pampered brat is because modesty is a virtue, and someone as incredibly awesome as Jonnie has to be virtuous, right? I mean, getting arrogant would be a humanizing flaw. And we can't have that.

Back to Chapter Three

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