Monday, October 28, 2013

Part Seventy-Two, Chapter Four - Teenie Gone Wild

Madison and his driver backtrack to where they found Teenie, though it's getting harder to see.  "The light seemed bad: apparently in this place they followed day and night, and this must be dusk."  I'm just going to boggle at that sentence for a moment, at what other possible sequence day, night and dusk could proceed in.

A guard jumps out of hiding, but calms down when Madison flashes his Apparatus I.D.  He points them in the direction Teenie went, and immediately asks for a "puffstick."  Madison makes Flick give him one, Flick gives him a dirty look but complies, the guard makes Flick light it, and Flick gives him a dirty look but complies.  The author wrote these sentences, and now I relay them to you.  Maybe you'll know what to do with them.

Flick headed in that direction.  "This is getting worse and worse," he said.

Madison privately agreed with him.  If he found her, she would probably be covered with mud and this car, not overly clean already, would really ruin all his clothes then.  Anyway, she would be terribly happy to see him and know that, as his assistant, she would be free.

Those are two separate thoughts, crudely welded together with an "anyway."

Madison and Flick eventually "burst" into "an area of pools," a sequence of lighted bodies of water situated so that they feed each other through waterfalls.  Madison spots "TEENIE!" running along before diving into the colored pools and plunging her way down the waterfalls, despite the "NO SWIMMING" sign clearly prohibiting such an action!  Madison quickly gets Flick to drive the not-plane over, before Teenie gets in so much trouble, oh man!  This is the closest this chapter gets to an action scene, so try to play along.

Eventually Teenie sees them and climbs out of the water, and we get a paragraph describing the water cascading from her underage body, which to the author's credit is tempered by the fact that Madison's the viewpoint character, and he doesn't find her attractive.  So Teenie's leanness is mentioned but not slavered over, while her nakedness is informed rather than spelled out for us.

Madison excitedly shares the news that he's 1. found a way back to Earth, 2. has her as his assistant now, oh and 3. you're not a slave.  Teenie shrugs, grabs her dirty sackcloth, and without putting it on walks into an old vine-entangled golden building, through gilded doors "you could have flown a Boeing jetliner through."  What can I say, Hubbard and aircraft go together like extraterrestrial tyrants and psychiatrists. 

The interior is about as gaudy as you'd expect, with gold and jeweled chairs everywhere, and 3-D paintings of angels on the walls.  And if you thought Teenie swimming where there was clearly a "no swimming" sign was bad, well!  She gets water on silken pillows!  She uses a priceless silk tablecloth as a towel!  You can really see why parents don't want this sort of trash in schools, teaching kids delinquency. 

Madison continues to try and get Teenie to come with him, but she's mad, and I actually approve of why: Madison didn't volunteer his PR services when she was whoring out Too-Too's arse.  She never asked him to do it, and he had given her little reason to expect that he would, but she, a particularly stupid tweenaged girl, is furious that he didn't do what he didn't know she wanted.  Well done, Hubbard, you've accurately conveyed the annoying, self-centered stupidity of an emotionally stunted child.

"Oh, come off of it," said Madison.  "I couldn't get involved with a filthy business like that!  You were making that poor boy into a prostitute, ruining his life!  You even had him smoking pot.  You have no conscience!  No moral sense of any kind!"

Yeah, yeah, intentional values dissonance from the guy who "helps" people by getting them killed.

"You're a fine one to talk, sleeping with your mother!"

"That's just the way I was raised!"
"Well, this is just the way I was raised!" snapped Teenie.

And the conversation immediately goes to money, as Teenie assumes that's why Madison is after her.  She's stashed away a thousand spacebux, but Madison turns down her offer of a ten credit loan.  Madison refuses to touch money earned by sodomy.

Ten credits?  He didn't know what things cost but it wasn't enough to sell his pride for.  "I wouldn't touch money made out of the body of that poor boy!"

"That 'poor boy,' as you call him, happens to be a catamite that that (bleep) Gris set onto Lord Endow.  Lord Endow is the head of the Exterior Division and the top man over the Apparatus, when he can stop drooling long enough.  So I taught that 'poor boy,' as you call him, a few little tricks he could do and when he got back here he pleased Lord Endow no end.  The goofy old (bleepard) went absolutely delirious over Too-Too."

So Too-Too is now hero of the catamites, who are ever-so-jealous of his six week cruise, because of course all homosexuals are oversexed little deviants.  Too-Too was so grateful to Teenie, in fact, that he got Endow to send her for training as a page, which is why she can now speak court Voltarianin in addition to the executive Voltarian that Madison's been speaking in.  On top of that, she's been "teaching" classes.  More on that in coming chapters, space gods help us all.

Madison brings up the "slave labor" she saw Teenie engaged in, but that was actually her planting some marijuana, which can be matured in a week thanks to space magic.  The publicist again begs her to leave before she gets in trouble, but Teenie reveals that she convinced Lord Endow that she was a "movie queen" on Earth, which is why she's been given the lavish former home of a Queen Hora (hur, hur).  To prove the point, she snaps her fingers, causing servants to appear and throw "a gauzy silken robe on her that left her twice as naked as before" and bring out some sparklewater and sweetbuns on a tray marked "Queen Teenie."  They, of course, kneel as they present the dishes.

It's convenient when the author establishes a powerful character as a doddering old moron, so the audience doesn't have to wonder why the hell he decided an alien prisoner who claimed to be big in movies should be promoted to royalty.  "Surely," you may be tempted to ask, "a society with mass media and big-name stars like Hightee Heller would know the difference between a 'real' queen and an entertainment icon?"  But as I said, doddering old moron.

Madison suddenly got the picture.

Teenie had INFLUENCE!

Hope boomed in him like a struck drum.  He could almost hear the trumpets blare.  Influence could be USED!

To make Jettero Heller famous!  And nothing else.

When the servants use eye contact to ask if Madison gets a sweetbun, Teenie brushes him off as no true friend of hers, and so the PR gets sad, "His hopes of finishing Heller fell crumbling about him."

This is one of those end-of-chapter pseudo-cliffhangers that Hubbard's fond of, and a particularly dumb example of one.  Madison doesn't actually leave.  Next chapter begins with him standing there, watching Teenie eat, still trying to think of a way to convince her to work with him.  And then things go to hell.

Back to Chapter Three 

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