"Now, I'm from Calabar," said Flick. "All that war over there worries me. They slaughter whole towns, butcher the kids, rape the women, burn the lot. I should think your hair was standing on end thinking of the Apparatus invading your planet."
"Oh, war is just war," said Madison in a bored voice. "I'm a PR man. Most wars are started by PRs. So what's there to be excited about?"
Iunno, the death of your dear mama?
Once again reminded what a stone-cold killer Madison is, Flick and his meat girl drive him to a seedy area as per the directions he gave them, a neighborhood covered in garbage. They knock on the door, but the grumpy old man on the other side doesn't want anything to do with them.
"Is your name Bawtch?" said Madison.
Bawtch tried to
Wait, the old guy didn't answer! That could be his twin brother Crawtch for all we know, or maybe they're at the wrong address.
close the door but Madison's foot was in it. "I've come to you for information about a man named Gris."
"GRIS! Get out of here!"
"He's in the Royal prison," said Madison, "laughing at your all. I'm trying to get him brought to trial."
"Come in!" said Bawtch.
So Madison gets a good long interview with Gris' former boss, who turns out to not have died after all, and learns all about Gris' horrible misdeeds. Bawtch swears that he'd cross the Great Desert for a chance to testify against the hated Gris, and gives Madison the addresses of more character witnesses for the upcoming trial. Madison and the others go to another apartment, and there's Meeley and Ske, Gris' old landlady and limo driver! It must be the end times, 'cause the dead are lurching out of their graves to haunt the story once more.
Or maybe it's just that everybody who Gris tried to kill through counterfeit currency instead ran straight to the Finance Office to tattle on him, and while trying to buy a pack of gum at a Space 7-11 with fake cash is a capital crime, just having it on you is apparently fine. So all those minor, worthless characters from Book One are still alive, and have all bonded over their mutual hatred of Soltan Gris, and are absolutely willing to help roast him. Yay.
"Smiling like a toother that was all set to snap up his prey," whatever a toother is, Madison goes back to his apartment, assembles his crack PR team, and grandly informs them that "We are about to influence the courses of empires. We are about to direct the very destiny of the stars. Now listen closely." And of course the chapter ends there, so we'll get to see Madison's plan as it unfolds.
Altering the course of empires, shaping the destiny of the stars... it's a good thing Madison isn't a megalomaniac who would use to awesome power of PR to achieve his own deranged ambitions. Nope, he's simply a man doing the job he's paid for, transforming entire civilizations so that one guy becomes a famous outlaw like his boss wanted.
Back to Chapter Three