"So you see, the increase in the price of gasoline," said Senator Twaddle, "is a very good thing for the American economy. It encourages sitting home and watching TV and so will restore American family life."
"I understand," said the interviewer, "that Octopus Oil is raising its prices at the pump again. How will this benefit people, Senator?"
"Make them more industrious," said Twaddle. "They will have to work overtime to afford enough gas to get them to work. Sloth is the enemy of the American Dre---"
At least Octopus Oil tries to explain why price hikes are good for us. Our world's oil companies could learn something from them.
Eventually Heller gets the right frequency and Izzy comes on along with Agent Raht, who as "Mr. Hopjoy" just brought in seven million dollars in unmarked gold bars, or in other words a very loud question mark. Heller advises Izzy to put it all in the rainy day vault and starts talking shop.
See, Wonderful Oil for Maysabongo, Incorporated, has recently, easily, gotten options from every oil company to purchase the entirety of the United States' oil reserves. The Secretary of Defense even let them buy the reserves of the navy, army and air force. I didn't know a foreign firm could buy the fuel right out of American tanks, but there ya go. Good thing our Cold War enemies were too communist to try it!
That's just the first step, though, and Heller tells Izzy to "acquire options to sell every share of stock in every oil company in the world." Izzy tallies up everything, from "Immobil Oil" to "Smell Oil" to "Hexaco," and arrives at a price tag of $190.3 billion. Doable, because Heller's been cheating at the stock market for months now, but if those companies' stock goes up they're going to lose a lot of money.
Heller's not worried, though. If the stock prices for all the world's oil companies drop just ten dollars, his company will have made nineteen billion dollars - and he knows they'll be dropping more than that.
Oh, Gods, what was I looking at? What had I just heard? This was a direct attack to ruin poor Mr. Rockecenter! Oh, Gods of Gods, was I in trouble!
Said the man with no money, no allies, and no plan, while handcuffed to a chair next to his mortal enemy.
I hadn't the least idea of what Heller was going to do. Bomb the oil nerve center of the world, Rockecenter Plaza?
Gris has watched Heller set up his alien generators to beam free electricity to Florida. He's watched Heller build an oil-less automobile. He's watched Heller cheat the stock market and threaten his way out of legal trouble to build a financial empire. And Gris honestly has no idea what Heller's going to do to undermine the oil monopolies.
Also, why has there been no reaction to Heller's actions? I'm not talking about stuff like Madison's campaign, but things like the scientific community, local newspapers, or auto makers noticing the world-changing inventions he's coming up with. Shouldn't the stock market have responded?
I guess Rockecenter's using his evil influence to hush everyone or something. A more encouraging thought than the notion that ever since Madison disappeared they've done jack squat.
Back to Chapter Five