Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Part 31, Chapter 1 - Now We're in Luxembourg

Earth is free of alien aggression and free of debt, the Psychlo menace is gone forever, Jonnie has gripped the collective cojones of the galaxies' races to enforce a permanent peace, and humanity is on track toward a new era of unprecedented prosperity. By most standards, the story is over.

But Hubbard has more to say. We've got to see exactly how ridiculously wealthy Jonnie is, and how much every sentient lifeform adores him. We've got to take another look at the Psychlos to see how eeeeeevil they are (were). And there's more Psychlo mathematics to ponder.

So the chapter opens with Jonnie riding Windsplitter along the Alzette River, Luxembourg, watching a bear go fishing and pondering recent events. Three months ago he bought the entire Grand Duchy and set up his teleportation console factory with Angus and Tom Smiley, and now they're able to pop out two hundred of the things in a day. Jonnie named the company "The Rig Industry," displaying laudable humility for not naming it after himself, while at the same time showing a breathtaking lack of creativity for a reputed genius.

He's also bought up eleven firms from an alien race called the Chatovarians, whose planetary defenses are so strong that not one of their seven hundred worlds has fallen to Psychlo invasion, and are even capable of downing gas drones. Now Earth's defenses are being built by the short, bright orange, buck-toothed, industrious... umm... well, if they were yellow I'd accuse them of being a Chinese stereotype, but since these Chatovarians are merely "bright orange" I'm just highly suspicious. Maybe it's just a coincidence - I mean, these guys have webbed hands and eat wood, and that's not part of any Oriental stereotype I've ever heard of.

So what's the tally now? We've had shark people, tree people, dinosaur people, and now beaver people? I wonder if the Psychlos were supposed to be a type of animal. Maybe bears?

Anyway, Jonnie is pondering the mystery of teleportation motors, which he can't figure out how to build because of "Those blasted Psychlo mathematics! Nothing ever balanced." So that's one of the lingering plot threads these last seventy pages will help clear up. And that's all there is to this chapter.

Random facts: Tom Smiley's wife Margarita is pregnant. I wonder if she ever learned English? Also, Windsplitter "sort of laughed" in this chapter, and when Jonnie touches his shoulder the animal mistakes the gesture for "run at full speed." I'm going to keep an eye on this horse.

Back to Part Thirty, Chapter Five

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