The next few days were a liberal education in how well a great and powerful organization like Rockecenter's could (bleep) up a planet. I was overawed with admiration. No wonder Lombar studied Rockecenter so hard! I took notes whenever possible so I could send them through and curry favor with my chief. Earth might be deficient and primitive in many of its technologies but the Rockecenter organization was light-years beyond anything like it in outer space. Five generations of
Yes, he blathers on for one long paragraph.
cunning had made it what it was today: a colossus! A whole planet dancing to the tune of one psychotic man! Magnificent! Compared to this, Heller was a puny nothing! And I would launch the avalanche upon him!
But instead of a concise summary of this education, Gris rewinds to stepping out of Rockecenter's office after meeting the man, where Rockecenter's secretary, running late for an appointment at the abortion clinic (girl, there's this pill...), has Gris open his shirt so she can stamp his chest and be marked as the "Rockecenter Family Spi," dated and signed and everything. Except when Gris inspects himself there's no mark to be seen. Then he goes home and takes a bath and doesn't worry about wherever Utanc's run off to this time. And that's the Chapter One, a rambling introductory paragraph and I guess some comedy?
Chapter Two is all about Gris' first day as an employee of Rockecenter. He gets to work at 9 am sharp, waits outside Mr. Bury's office for forty-five minutes until a janitor unlocks the door, and sits inside the office through lunch and past one o'clock, when armed security guards finally burst in and apprehend him. After a good deal of confusion it's explained that Gris was supposed to be at the Personnel office at ten that morning.
There's further confusion, in which "Inkswitch"'s name somehow wound up on a scrubbed combat mission to Venezuela, but eventually they pop open Gris' shirt and shine a special light on his skin to reveal the "invisible" stamp from the night before, confirming his identity as Rockecenter's new spy. Guards argue over who won a bet until a psychologist is called in to declare them both losers and take the money. Gris' information is fed into a computer to produce a blank screen, which is correct since he's under cover. Then he finally meets Mr. Bury and rushes off to an appointment due to start an hour ago. End Chapter Two.
And this experience is regarded as desirable by the book's villain and his boss. They think this replicating all this is going to help them take over the world, while most readers are no doubt wondering how Rockecenter's mob issues paycheck without tearing itself apart. They want to "(bleep) up the planet" and rule it at the same time.
Does Hubbard consider his villains Bad Guys and therefore possessing opposite morals and interests from Good Guys? Like a well-managed organization is a Good thing, so the villains are going to try to use the exact opposite to achieve their goals? But in reality - which Mission Earth only resembles in a loose sense - the most horrifyingly successful of evil regimes usually get a reputation for ruthless efficiency and clear lines of command. Even if it isn't always deserved.
At last things were happening!
Well, there is that. Next chapter we'll meet this PR firm that will destroy Heller once and for all.
Back to Part Twenty-Six, Chapter Seven