Monday, December 6, 2010

Part 31, Chapter 4 - Now We Laugh at the French

Jonnie flies everyone to the Lake Victoria. It's night now and there's a storm hampering vision, so he's flying mainly by instruments. And poor Pierre the French copilot is terrified the whole time.

On landing he finds Ker waiting for them. The usually friendly Psychlo is cranky over his own struggles with Psychlo math, as well as the mopey behavior of "all those other ------ ------ Psychlos" who have been depressed ever since they saw pictures of their home world aflame, the bunch of babies. Jonnie has him get Pattie and Chrissie settled in the compound, then he and Ker and Pierre are off for the snowy mountain peaks they'd stashed Psychlo corpses on from that ambush all those chapters ago.

Pierre, naturally, panics and babbles that Jonnie's "landing on a cloud!" His tribe had been under the "domination" of Jesuit priests who "controlled it by instilling a heavy fear of heaven and hell, mostly the latter," so poor Pierre's superstitious and easily spooked. He has to don a jetpack before opening the door and stepping out onto the "clouds," which he's sure Jonnie can walk on but not confident about his own chances.

I wonder how the Jesuits would react to all this Jonnie worship?

An unconcerned Jonnie uses a crowbar to pry a corpse out from the snow and ice. The sight of a "demon rising from out of the cloud," combined with "Ghost Riders in the Sky" playing from Jonnie's magic button at an inopportune moment, is enough to make poor Pierre faint dead away. Har har, the French are cowards, har har.

Keep in mind that Pierre just flew up there with a live Psychlo. A Psychlo who jokes and talks with Jonnie. And he still faints away at the sight of a dead one. But hey, we've got to maintain the stereotype, dammit.

And that's all that happens this chapter.

Oh yeah, we're told more about Fobia, which is a planet instead of a moon... I think. Anyway, it's got such an elliptical orbit that its atmosphere alternatively freezes, liquefies, and evaporates. Which explains why you can "mine" breathe-gas from it, though not how the deuce Psychlo produced it. Anyway, Ker found it, so he won't suffocate anytime soon, just in case anyone cared.

Back to Chapter Three

1 comment:

  1. I care, Ker's the only semi-likable character in this whole bucket of hogwash. Although he's lost a considerable amount of my favor by not showing any reaction except relief that he won't be captured to the idea that his home planet is gone.

    Also, about that whole French-as-cowards stereotype: Hubbard, I'd like to introduce you to Victor Hugo. Specifically in the form of my copies of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Toilers of the Sea, and of course Les Miserables *bound together with twine and smacking you repeatedly upside the head!!!*

    Once we've finished with that, we can move on to Alexandre Dumas.