Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Part Seventy-Two, Chapter Ten - Teenie's Ultimatum

The party's over, all the stage stuff is put up, the manor staff assembles, and Madison knows his time has come.  And then he knows that oh, it's actually some "good-night" ritual, maybe they're not going to bathe in his blood after all.  Teenie declares her love for her humble servants, her maids get into a catfight - complete with "hissing and snarling" - over who gets to tuck her in, but Teenie resolves it and forgives them and everyone laughs and praises her and these people must have been absolutely desperate for something to do, good grief.  Never leave a bunch of bootlicks alone in a mansion without a proper noble to boss them around, otherwise there's no telling who they'll end up slavishly obeying.

Madison almost thinks he's gotten away with causing a rumpus, I guess?  But then a chamberlain reminds Teenie of her prisoner, so she decides to squeeze in a quick trial before bedtime.  See, Voltar is such an advanced and enlightened and better-than-Earth society that it still operates under separate legal codes for different classes of society - within his own palace, a noble has power of life and death over anyone of inferior rank who he feels has offended him.  So Teenie decides that Madison's pled guilty.

Madison said, "You haven't said what the sentence is!"

She was speaking in English again.  "Well, Maddie, I get all heated up conducting these classes; they sometimes bring me to the brink of (bleep) and I ache.  I've always wanted to break that fixation you have on your mother.  So you're sentenced to coming up to my bed­room and (bleeping) me until I'm all limp and satisfied."

"OH, NO!" screamed Madison,

C'mon, what about this is surprising?  The real miracle is that the author's let Teenie go this long without jumping on someone. 

and cringed back so hard his chains rattled.  Then he thought in quick streaks of blue light and inspiration hit him. 

Why blue?  Is the color significant?  Would red streaks of light produce different inspiration?

Stupid questions, but you're the one who brought it up, Hubbard.

Anyway, Madison tries to weasel out of sex with an underage girl by pointing out the over two hundred boys currently suffocating under the floorboards of the great hall, but Teenie explains that they're all so damn infatuated with her that if any of them actually succeeded in bedding her, "the rest would be so jealous of him they'd slaughter him!"  Plus she's trying to keep them catamites, remember, and the author's brain can't seem to handle the notion that someone could be sexually attracted to more than one gender.  So Madison points out that the mansion staff seems to love her, but alas, they're commoners, so if they're caught (by who?) in bed with her they'll be executed, because.

I can only assume regular elevation of new breeding stock to the nobility is how the empire has managed to avoid the whole "chinless imbecile emperor who keeps trying to mate with the furniture" situation.

Madison was shuddering to the depths of his soul.  "No," he pleaded.  "The answer is no!"

Teenie smiled and it made him flinch.  He knew this wasn't all of it.

"All right," she said, glancing at her Mickey Mouse watch,

Disney, of all the people you've gone after in your zealous defense of public domain characters you "own," couldn't you have spared a moment for ol' L. Ron?  Disney vs. Scientology, now there's a fight worth paying admission for...

"just sit there and think it over. This guard captain has orders that if you don't come up to my room tonight, then, straight up sharp at 6:00 A. M. you are to be taken to the dungeons and executed with an electric axe. So if you change your mind, your guard here will have orders to bring you up to my room, no matter the hour."

Her motor's running and ready to go, but she's willing to wait all night just so Madison will be the one to hit the gas?  Y'know, maybe that was a bad metaphor.

She gave him a little mocking wave and turned away.

The staff insisted that she sit on a little silver seat with handles as she might be too tired after her long evening to walk up the stairs, and they bore her off, up the golden steps and out of sight.

So here's this chapter's cliffhanger: Madison has been given an ultimatum to "betray" his mother and engage in some statutory rape, or he'll be killed.  Now, most of what we've seen of Teenie in general, not to mention those last few paragraph in particular, has given us little reason to like her, and good reason to root for any wild boars that might consider making her a snack.  Madison, meanwhile, is a character that even Gris-as-narrator looked down on, so we've gotten good as disliking him.

So, my good author, why should we the reader care what happens next?  Why is Madison's survival or "faithfulness" to his mother of concern to us, when you've spent considerable effort making him an unappealing character?  Why should we worry that he won't be able to convince Teenie to work with him when we'd be happy to drop her down a handy pit?

I think the logic behind Mission Earth's cliffhangers is that readers are eagerly turning the page in hopes the guy will fall.

Back to Chapter Nine

1 comment:

  1. I think it's more about the brief glimpses of insight that we get into the mind of Hubbard for coming up with this, when he could have written anything that he wanted.

    I think this entire series is Hubbard's version of "The Aristocrats" joke, except that he's not creative enough to tell it in the right sequence so that the obscenities build up. His characters were doing so much awful stuff in Book One that his only really shocking character is the creepy Voltarian doctor who didn't need Earth psychology to come up with his depravities to begin with.