Monday, March 24, 2014

Part Ninety-One, Envoi II-xii-xiv - The Secret of Minx Estates

Wait a minute, if Voltarians age more slowly than humans, so that Heller's a seasoned space commando but still passes for a college freshman on Earth, then those 21- and 19-year-old girls Monte is sexing with are really... god dammit Hubbard.

Asa and Lik are sobbing as Tayl finishes her story of Queen Teenie and Madison's astonishingly stupid demise, so the licentious hag orders them to cheer up with some music and entertainment.  Potentially Underage Girl #1 puts on some tunes that Monte has never heard the likes of, "punk rock" copied from Teenie's records during Tayl's visit to Relax Island.  In this chapter at least it would appear that the author's songwriting genius stumbled a bit, as the lyrics are nothing more than:

Psychedelic sunset! 
Woo-oo!  Woo-oo! 
Psychedelic sunset! 
Woo-oo!  Woo-oo! 
Psychedelic sunset! 
Woo-oo!  Woo-oo! 
Psychedelic sunset! 
Woo-oo!  Woo-oo! 

Wait, no, obviously this isn't terrible songwriting, but a satire of terrible songwriting.  My apologies, Hubbard.  Wait a minute, have we heard this song before in Book Seven or so?

Potentially Underage Girl #2 gets some strange green leaves out of a drawer, rolls them up into paper cylinders, and teaches Monte how to smoke this "Panama Red."  Pratia yells "All right, girls!  You can practice your lessons now!  HAVE AT HIM!"  And so Envoi II-xii ends in a haze of sex and drugs.

With searching fingers, the two girls were seeking out my spots.  Before my eyes there was a blur of hands.  I fixated on a finger that was probing at my throat.

A joyous feeling began to spread through me.

Two angels on the ceiling were leering down.

More joints.

More music.

Hours later, I slept.

Envoi II-xiii... ugh, that's still awful... is more of the same, perhaps to make up for the extended sex-less exposition from Envoi II-xi.  Monte wakes up to find Asa and Lik still asleep and Tayl gone, so he tries to sneak out, but fails.  The girls grab him, announce that with their granny gone they "can skip the fancy stuff," and offer Monte a blunt of the dog that got him high.  And so this chapter begins in a haze of sex and drugs.  And music.

My mama never told me
About the birds and bees.
My papa always told me
To stay off all boys' knees.
So I have had no training,
My appetite to vex. 
I have to find out on my own 
What there is to sex.
So please excuse ferocity 
In ripping off your clothes. 
If you decline, please be assured, 
I'll punch you in the nose. 

Ah, L. Ron Hubbard's ode to rape.

Oh, now let's do it all again. 
I think I've got the hang. 
But I can't believe the birds and bees 
Get such a huge end bang! 

There's a lot of pounding music, and leering cupids, and screams causing curtains to fly out windows, but no explicit description of what's going on, for what little is left to our imaginations.  Mission Earth's sex scenes - or rather the few that aren't rape, necrophilia, or statutory rape - occupy a strange twilight realm between erotica and innuendo, too detailed for a non-smutty novel but not sexy enough for written porn.  At worst they're mentally scarring, at best they're an annoying distraction from what passes for plot. (editor's note from the future: and they make figuring out how to comply with Adult Content restrictions a right pain if you don't want to flag the whole stupid story as such)

Monte worries that he's made the girls pregnant, but they assure him that they're on the space pill and not as innocent as Granny Tayl thinks - "And there won't be any virgins left in the whole Confederacy when we get through spreading Teenie's stuff around!  We're only learning now, but you just wait."  Monte asks if Prahd ever dot dot dot, an icky question since they have his green eyes and yellow hair, but they laugh that he has nurses for that kind of thing.  And then it's off to have sex in the shower.  With a "rod vibrator" they use on Monte.

After this they put Monte in makeup and a woman's negligee, as a present for "Har."  There's more bad music

Two on one is lots of fun, 
When you can't have three. 
It's now begun for everyone, 
So let's all have a spree! 
When we're all done, another one 
Will start with you on me!

and then a green-eyed blond man walks in with bushels of "Gold Colombian" harvested from the family farm.  This is Har, who Monte assumes is one of Asa and Lik's brothers, and they introduce Monte as "more or less a virgin" who has only been with girls, which makes Har laugh that Monte's "never had it real Earth-style?"  It's only around this point that Monte realizes that Har has a painted face too.  Because remember, homosexuals are all effeminate cross-dressers.

The clothes come off, the girls hold him down.  Monte has a hallucination involving one of the angels on the wall diving through space, screams, and finds himself toweling his face in the bathroom.  While Lik, Asa and Har are still busy (sexually) in the next room, he lets himself out.

There, two chapters' worth of sex, now for a bit more exposition.  In Envoi II-xiv, Monte calls home to be picked up, but notices a green-eyed, graying man taking out the trash nearby, and recognizes him as Prahd!  (He has a photo of the guy)

After Prahd somewhat dismissively takes him for "one of the children's shiftless friends," Monte uses the power of investigative journalism to lie that he's a medical student investigating the strange case of a brown-haired woman who married a blue-eyed man and gave birth to a lot of green-eyed blondes.  Prahd is happy to explain the incident in question, involving an officer from a now-defunct organization and a planet that no longer exists.  When Prahd's medical examination found that said officer had one atrophied and one crushed testicle, rather than harvest the reproductive organs of the short-lived natives of the planet the two were serving on, Prahd used cells from his own body to replace Gr- I mean, the officer's ruined balls.

Prahd is "rather proud of the result," even though there was unintended fallout due to the officer's lifestyle.  Just around the hospital in- on the alien planet, the officer sired some thirty children, and then over a dozen more in a distant city, all of which came out as green-eyed blondes regardless of local ethnic trends.

Monte asks the obvious question that I'm too disinterested to notice - how does Prahd know what all these children look like, if he didn't stay long on the planet and it no longer exists?  And at this point the good doctor Bittlestiffender gets suspicious and grabs Monte's collar, but that lifts the twerp's gaze towards the attic window, where he conveniently sees someone.

A face was there, peering through the curtains.

The hair was gray and matted.

The eyes were wild, quite insane.

But even age did not fully change him from his pictures.

A shocking plot twist that undoes a previous plot twist!  Instead of dying in a stupid explosion instead of serving a life sentence in jail, Monte realizes that the not-Widow Tayl must've negotiated for custody of Gris during the fuel rod deal, so Gris is back to serving a life sentence!

Here he was, surrounded by his worst enemies--Ske, Meeley and even Bawtch--before he died!  How they must torment him and gloat!  What glee they must feel with him locked up there in the attic! 

How are they keeping him locked up in an attic?  There's no suggestion that it's been reinforced or anything.  Or maybe I'm giving Gris far too much credit.

I was staring at those insane eyes and then I further understood.  He was carrying another man's sperm: every time he had impregnated a woman it had been not for himself but for Prahd!  How devilish Prahd had been, siring babies all over the place without a single blot on his professional ethics! 

This is a weird little paragraph.

Now, we've established that the enlightened world of Voltar is a bit Taliban-ish when it comes to marriage, so that out-of-wedlock children are a matter of life and death.  It's clear why Prahd wouldn't want to have a bastard on record.  It's not clear why he would be eager to father children via Gris' surrogate penis, since that cuts Prahd out of the fun stuff that occurs in order to make the woman pregnant.  It could be that Prahd still finds the idea appealing for some reason, but then Monte's reaction should be confusion rather than awed admiration for his devilish cunning.

My hypothesis?  The author is a big fat pervert with an impregnation fetish.

Monte actually giggles into Prahd's face after discovering how Pratia has kept Gris around as a sex slave, "(bleeping) himself crazy all these years siring another man's children!  A TERRIFIC, MONSTROUS ADDITIONAL COVER-UP!"

The chapter ends with him exulting that "I had found Soltan Gris!"  How exciting, the criminal sentenced to life in a harlot's prison with a spot of physical torture has escaped to a life in a harlot's attic with constant psychological torture.

I'm still confused about the kids.  Prahd mentioning how he knows about Gris' Earth children raised the possibility that he'd gone back to bring them to their father's homeworld for whatever reason, but with Gris held captive by Tayl, it seems more likely that she's been squirting out offspring for the past century.  As far as I can tell, what little that remains of the book will not clarify this.  And on further reflection, it doesn't really matter.

Back to Envoi II-viii-xi


  1. "Wait, no, obviously this isn't terrible songwriting, but a satire of terrible songwriting." Couldn't it be "terrible satire of songwriting"?

  2. So Gris didn't die in the explosion. Um. yay? And, uhh... why this as an alternative to being tortured by Teenie?

    So, this chapter is disturbing for reasons I don't need to explain. There's still one oversight on Hubbard's part left, and that's Tayl's first child. The one that has Prahd's genetics and was conceived before Gris got his genetically modified penis. The only explanation for that one is that Prahd really did the do with Pratia way back when.

    This chapter also proves that Hubbard doesn't know what Gris looks like. In Gris's confession he was described as having brown eyes back when the first pseudo-gris-prahd spawn was born, and here Monte said he has blue eyes. sigh.