Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Part Seventy-One, Chapter One - Heller Calls a Friend

At least Monte's repetitive opening saves me the trouble of recapping the previous chapters.

Rockecenter tells Bury's not-quite-a-corpse-yet that "dead or not, your usefulness is ended," and leaves for Philadelphia.  And then we start alternating between actions in a very specific sequence so that Heller's bacon is saved without him having to lift a finger, much less use the magician's forcer gesture to make his captors grab a piece of cloth that makes soldiers release prisoners.

Rockecenter goes through the room's French doors and yells for his car and a tank escort.  The general makes a signal, and soldiers grab Izzy and Twoey.  The general has to make another signal because apparently Heller wasn't included in the original "Seize them!" order.  Outside, Rockecenter starts to get into his car but stops a moment to look at the road.  The soldiers start to grab Heller, who says

"Oh, he didn't mean me!" said Heller.  "I'm his son."

"What?" said the general.

"Yes, it's a fact," said Heller.  "He just meant these two fellows here."

Both Izzy and Twoey looked at Heller, stunned.

And the general tries to verify this, but Rockecenter's already in his car and driving away.  See?  Pretty fortunate for Heller that the National Guard drags its feet when it comes to apprehending "riffraff."  How lucky that Rockecenter didn't bother to stick around and ensure that the people trying to break his monopoly were properly detained.

The general's suspicious that Rockecenter was gesturing to Twoey and Izzy but not Heller, and asks Heller to prove that he's indeed Rocky Jr.  Of course, Rockecenter took everyone's IDs, the clever bastard, so Heller takes a shot in the dark, dredging up a long-forgotten plot point from Book Two.

"Ah," said Heller.  "You just grab the phone on that desk and ask for Emergency FBI, Washington, D. C.  You just ask for agents Stupewitz and Maulin."

Heller crossed his fingers.  Those agents were the first ones he had had contact with on his original arrival in the United States last fall.  He had never heard of them or from them since.

That's right, the agents who apprehended Heller and then inexplicably spent an afternoon teaching him about drugs and bypassing security systems and guns.  The agents who subsequently fell off the face of the Earth, never to be mentioned in the story or even listed in the books' Keys.  Those morons.

And of course they're around to pick up the phone, and oh so happy to speak to "JUNIOR!"  Heller brings up Mary Schmeck and how she never got her tombstone, then immediately goes on to explain that he's of age now, eligible for all sorts of inheritance money, and looking to balance any debts.  He offers them a six figure job if they'll quit working for the government, which they're all too happy to accept.

So are Maulin and Stupewitz good guys now?  The twerps who went out of their way to accommodate "Junior" in hopes that papa would reward them, and who Bury failed to subsequently terminate for knowing too much?  The guys who boasted how J. Edgar Hoover would invent crimes and then gun down his victims in a "blaze of glory?"  The guys who are damned for not only working for the government, but working for government law enforcement?

Guess we'll see when they show up in person.  Heller gives the phone back to the general, who finishes his conversation, turns pink and mumbles about being new at "these family matters." 

"All's fair in love and war," said Heller cryptically.  Out of the corner of his eye he saw that the limousine and tank were gone.  "Now, General, take that Bury there to your hospital tent and if he isn't dead, do a nice long operation.  Plenty of anesthetic because he's sensitive.  As for these other two, hold them very safe."

Izzy and Twoey looked at him with horror.

A little slow on the uptake, aren't they?  But if you're wondering whether they're going to hold a grudge over this seeming betrayal, don't worry, this will never be mentioned again.

"Now, as you know," continued Heller, "there's lots of Maysabongo saboteurs about.  So let me have a motorcycle so my driver can scout the road.  And if there's nothing else, I'll go out to my car and try to catch up with Daddy."

"Very good, Lieutenant Rockecenter," said the general and barked an order to an aide who was hovering at the door.

Shouldn't be hard, an Abrams can only do about 40 on an open road.  Tune in next time for an exciting car chase and vehicular battle!

Back to the start of Villainy Victorious

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