Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Part Forty-Six, Chapter Six - The Unidentical Rockecenter Twins

I guess all this nonsense gives us an answer to the question of why it was so important that Heller look like a teenager - so he can, in a hugely convenient coincidence, pass for the brother of the true Rockecenter child.  Which leads to the follow-up question of why the true Rockecenter son couldn't have been in his late twenties, but had to be a gangly eighteen-year-old.

With the eighteen-year-old passed out from the realization of his true heritage, Krak gets Heller to sit down next to the lad, take off his shoe, and put their feet together while Biggs takes pictures.  Kinky.  Stonewall documents the matching tattoos of the "unidentical twins," then asks everyone to move on, he has something else to show them.  Krak volunteers to stay behind, and though Heller doesn't like it, Krak explains that the "poor boy" - not Dick, or Richard, we'll never use his name - will need lots of... "coaching," and "training," to prepare him for entering the world of millionaires.  She gets Sweeney to agree to help keep things quiet and press-free, while she'll stay by his side and be right there when he wakes up.  Just her and him.  No witnesses.

So Heller and Bang-Bang and Biggs head off... whoopsie, looks like they do leave Krak unattended for a couple hours.  I'll just have to go back and edit the part in chapter four where I said that wouldn't happen - don't tell anyone, okay?  Gris is absolutely elated, and counts on Torpedo taking care of the boy too.  "A setup if there ever was one!  Even quiet enough for the corpse rape!"  The corpse rape is important, remember.

So Heller and Bang-Bang and Biggs head off to wake another person up, this time at an "old-fashioned, two story, brick farmhouse."  Wonder how Gris knows it's old-fashioned?  Did he study American agriculture?  Biggs knocks on the door until it produces a "Miz Hodges" and asks the woman if she's cleaned her attic lately, which I guess is a rural Virginia equivalent of a prank call.  After hinting that she might be in for a tax deduction if he can prove her efficient use of space, the lady lets them all in to poke around her attic while she tries to get a good night's sleep.  Behind a bundle of Jefferson Davis election posters and Confederate currency - yeah, really, and keep in mind that by my Nazi Math this book is set around the turn of the millennium - Biggs digs out a dusty box of photos and letters.

First there's a picture of Mary Styles, who in another amazing coincidence looks a lot like Heller even though he was born on a different planet.  Now would be an excellent moment to explore the complex emotions of an infiltrator being introduced to his would-be mother by a misty-eyed old man convinced of their relation, buuuut Hubbard decided Gris would be narrating, so we don't get any of that. 

There's a newspaper clipping about "LOCAL GIRL JOINS ROXY CHORUS IN NEW YORK" and photos of a young Rockecenter and Mary doing coupley things like drinking from the same bottle of Coke with some straws.  Biggs says "the boy at the farm" - not Dick, or Richard, even though that's his name - takes after his father, which "w'd be the case with unidenticals, ah guess."  There's notes from "Delie" to "Mary Yum-Yum" coordinating their trysts, and then a letter from Miss Agnes.

'cuse me, Dr. Agnes Moray, Ph.D., M.D.  Her letter is to Mary's parents, informing them that after her marriage to an absurdly wealthy and powerful young man, their daughter has come down with "delirium altaphasis" from being unable to adjust to her sudden change in fortune.  So she's being kept in a secure facility until she delivers her baby and is able to get "professional psychiatric care" (ominous music).  And don't tell anyone about her marriage or pregnancy, if she found out anyone else knew she might go insane.  Here's some money to cover her care, stay quiet.  At least until I can arrange for your deaths in a car accident.

The last thing in the convenient box of keepsakes and documentation is a wedding certificate from Elkton, Maryland, "the place of instant marriages."  I am once again amazed that Gris knows this stuff.  Biggs says that the certificate proves that Heller isn't a bastard, which is such a relief - I don't think I could root for a flawless alien super-commando who stole the identity of a multimillionaire's illegitimate child, could you?

Biggs resolves to write up a birth certificate for "the other boy" - not Dick, or Richard, they'll call him Delbert John Rockecenter the Second.  Brother of Delbert John Rockecenter Junior.  Argh.

Once they get done with duplicating and forging the necessary legal documents to explain how one child become "unidentical" twins, Biggs asks Heller about chipping in to help rebuild the courthouse.  Heller agrees only if Biggs pledges "to build an absoloot ohriginal that George Washington slept in," and Biggs laughs that the smartest thing he ever did was get "th' late" Tremor Graves drunk one night.

This is the Dr. Graves who was murdered literally a few hours ago, remember.  Right in front of Biggs.

Back to Chapter Five

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