Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Part 30, Chapter 5 - Because Nobody Likes Low-Income Heroes

Most of this chapter is talking about various bits of paperwork and how MacAdam and Baron Firstnameless von Roth pulled off their scheme.

First Jonnie asks how they convinced the banking executives on the Selachee homeworld to go along with the plan. MacAdam reveals that they used the gold collected from The Lode to open their account, and due to inflation the stuff went for a half a million credits an ounce. Though for all its monetary worth, the alien bankers have decided to put the gold in an exhibit in the main bank's foyer, due to its historical value. I can imagine it now: "See! Shiny yellow ore that was mined by laborers occasionally supervised by The Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, who brought happiness to all races!"

Then Jonnie ponders how they got Ker to sign the paperwork as Head of Planet, which implies that he thinks so little of his "shaftmate" that he assumes Ker wouldn't cooperate out of the goodness of his heart. The baron relays how Ker was relieved at Psychlo's death since it meant no one was after him, and put down his mark in exchange for a paycheck and promises of breathe-gas from the secret Psychlo prison-moon, Fobia.

Lastly Jonnie asks how MacAdam and Baron Anonymous knew how to word the Intergalactic Mining Co. sale contract for Terl to sign it. The baron admits that they took "a banker's chance" on Jonnie's attack on Psychlo being successful (wait, so did he or didn't he intend to blow up the whole planet?), adding that "You can't go very wrong putting your chips on Jonnie!"

But Sir Robert isn't happy. The two bankers are now controlling the most powerful and wealthiest institution in existence, but Jonnie has nothing. Stung, MacAdam begs forgiveness and shows off the Earth Planetary Bank's charter, which in addition to the bankers' names has Jonnie Goodboy Tyler on it. The baron explains that "Jonnie now owns two-ninths or about twenty-two percent of the Galactic Bank and a third of Intergalactic Mining Company," and MacAdam estimates that Jonnie's wealth lies in the quintillions.

So we can add "richer than God" to the list of Jonnie's accomplishments.

While trying to wrap his head around what to do with all that money ("Maybe he could buy one of those woven leather lead ropes for Windsplitter"), the thought of buying furniture suddenly reminds Jonnie that he has a girlfriend, an idea he'd "been keeping suppressed so he could keep on going." That very second a voice on the radio demands Sir Robert, who bursts out on the tarmac minutes later and interrupts Jonnie's attempt to leave for Scotland with news that everyone's okay. And then immediately after that Thor lands and out pops Chrissie. Here's their heartwarming reunion in all its glory:

It was Chrissie! Gaunt and pale, her black eyes flooding with tears.

"Oh, Jonnie! Jonnie!" she was saying. "I'm never going to leave you again! Never! Hold me, Jonnie!"

Jonnie did. He just stood there, almost crushing her ribs. He held her for a long time. He couldn't talk.

And that's the end of this Part. Nothing left to look forward to but a timeskip and drawn-out denouement.

Oh, and Chrissie, dearie: he left you, remember?

Back to Part Thirty, Chapter Four

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