Monday, February 27, 2012

Part Nineteen, Chapter Two - Officer Material

Heller takes a jog around campus.  Then he rounds up more tape recorders.  Then he returns to the "command post," but Bang-Bang isn't there.  He waits for a bit, then goes to pick up another batch of lecture recordings.  Then he goes to the "command post" and sits around for half an hour, waiting on Bang-Bang.

Gris does nothing besides watch Heller check his watch.

Eventually, "something" approaches, Bang-Bang looking "more like a mound of baggage with two legs than a person."  He dumps everything on the super-duper high-tech picnic blanket and gives his "battle report" of "Jerome Terrance Wister"''s first day in ROTC.  During the physical he learned that he has cirrhosis, but still passed with the caveat that he give up drinking before he expires.  Then Bang-Bang insisted on getting a uniform that fit , and after that he got into an argument over a "defective" weapon - he objected to the fact that his training M-1 rifle had its firing pin sawn off, and yelled until they promised to give him a working firearm to practice with.

The bit that makes Gris queasy is when Bang-Bang recounts his interview with a lieutenant, in which he was asked which service "Wister" was interested in.  Since he figured Heller wouldn't want to be in the basic infantry, military police, artillery, or armor, he put him down for G-2 - Military Intelligence.  Hence his load of Restricted and Confidential books and pamphlets, such as How to Talk Secret, How to Sneak Somebody Back of [sic] the Enemy Lines to Poison the Water, and How to Seduce the Wife of the Enemy General and Get Her to Give You Tomorrow's Battle Plans.  Bang-Bang describes them as "Good, solid stuff" twice.

And Heller, an alien sent to infiltrate Earth in preparation of an invasion, laughs and laughs about being trained in intelligence work.  Bang-Bang laughs too, and since he's a "Marine infiltrating the Army" he creeps around on all fours in a bad pantomime of skullduggery.  And Gris?  Gris flies into action!  Yes, faced with the prospect of his enemy learning spycraft (again), he sends a second dispatch to the Apparatus outpost in New York, telling them to find the hell out of Raht and Terb!

Then he settles down in front of the viewscreen to keep watching Heller.  I mean, he could catch a flight to the States and get physically involved in keeping his plans from collapsing around him, but, meh.  Besides, he's got that mail-order prostitute pending.  Wouldn't want that left on the porch.

Back to Chapter One 

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