Thursday, April 12, 2012

Part Twenty-Two, Chapter Four - Mission-Critical Crockery

The good Cap'n Stabb admiringly congratulates Gris for handling the "enraged assassins about to kill us" situation, and the two set about planning for the future.  Gris consults some Fleet maps and shows the captain the rendezvous point, then they talk about how they're going to lull Heller into a false sense of security before backstabbing him, thwarting his plans in the short term before putting an end to him permanently. 

The key to this is Box #5 in the Prince Caucalsia's cargo hold.  Gris isn't even sure what's in it, but the crate has to go.  Since the hold doors are all locked tight (because the Apparatus let Heller pick the ship and set it up so only he has full access to it), the crew gets at it through a maintenance hatch and unpacks it piece by piece, revealing a bunch of pans that Gris pays little attention to and nobody can identify the purpose of.  But rest assured they're very important pans, and their loss will be crippling blow to Heller's campaign of goodness!  Take that hero!

With that the crew expertly cleans up to erase any evidence of their actions, so they can claim that the crate was never packed.  Everyone is happy because they're getting ready to kill a filthy Royal officer, and Gris is celebrating a minor but all-too-rare victory.  And then he goes to watch HellerVision because why the hell not.

Would you like some more scathing satire of the intelligence community?  Heller's reading some ROTC homework, The Handling of a Trained Spy, while eating his second breakfast sundae.  "The Officer's Dilemma" concerns how handlers must learn to steer their underlings by their thirsts for vengeance or wealth, since as you are no doubt well aware, no intelligence operative is motivated by love of country or a righteous cause.  Another chapter, "Love, the Case Officer's Worst Enemy!", concerns... well, you can figure it out.

This is all routine for Gris, as Voltarian society is by an amazing coincidence largely identical to our own, though he is confused by Heller's behavior.  Everyone knows that love makes a spy lousy, as they just want to rush through the job and go home.  But gosh darn it, Heller isn't being sloppy or anything, even though he's got the Countess Krak to fly home to.  What a weirdo.

So Gris just mentally shrugs and continues on with the delusion that he's about to take care of Heller once and for all.  Yes, by stalling him during this delivery, Gris will quickly read the second later and puzzle out what the platen encryption is, allowing him to murder Heller and send forged reports.  Nothing could possibly go wrong.

Feel free to start brainstorming all the things that could go wrong.  In Chapter Seven, you'll get to see if you guessed right.

Back to Chapter Three

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