Feeling lost from all the incomprehensible names? Here's a completish list of the unsavory and/or flat characters that make up Mission Earth's cast herd, as well as the key institutions, technologies and concepts that pop up in the story. Entries are sorted by their first names, assuming the characters even have a surname.
Warning: the actual importance of these characters will vary significantly.
The Big Two
Soltan Gris is an experienced officer in the Coordinated Information Apparatus, well-versed in the underhand tactics and methods of the
organization, as well as the dark arts of psychology and psychiatry he learned from Earth. His division was supposed to hide any information about that planet from the rest of the Voltar Confederacy, but he screwed up, so his bosses assigned Gris to Mission Earth in order to sabotage Jettero Heller's operations on our world. He'll screw that up, too.
Gris' preferred modus operandi is to sit on his keister watching events unfold remotely, alternately
writing memos to
henchmen demanding they do his job for him, struggling to
come up with orders to give his henchmen, or ignoring his mission
entirely. He will literally waste entire Parts of a novel blowing a
fortune on whores while Heller continues to progress. At such times,
only the threat of
assassination is enough to motivate him to get
back to the story's plot. But despite his staggering incompetence, Gris
is still dangerous, and capable of premeditated murder, spastic
violence, and a lot of rape. Remember that "dangerous" is not the same thing as "effective."
In short, he's a failure as a
villain, an inactive "protagonist," and a thoroughly unpleasant
character to be around. Naturally, Hubbard made him the narrator and viewpoint character for seven-and-a-half books.
is our Aryan, Übermensch hero, better than you in every way. He is
handsome and in perfect physical condition. He's got multiple graduate
degrees, a distinguished military career, and even finds time to be a
star athlete on the side. He possesses an incredible memory, eyesight
keen that he can measure the granularity of rock in a dark room without a
microscope, and such fine-tuned hearing that he can listen to a
recording played at super speed and still understand it. He has
superhuman reflexes and dexterity, and is so skilled in close combat
that he can throw around opponents twice his size without breaking a sweat, or take on ten-to-one odds with nary a scratch. He's such a seasoned
pilot and naval officer that he can detect irregularities in a ship's
systems too small to actually impact its performance. He's able to
loyalty and affection in the very guards supposedly imprisoning him,
and only vile people like Soltan Gris and Lombar Hisst can bring
themselves to hate him. He's a "combat engineer" space commando/secret
agent/scientist/diplomat skilled at just about everything save for the craven
methods of the enemy. His status as a Royal officer guarantees that
he'll act as a paragon of loyalty and honor. And so on, and so forth,
to the point where it becomes immediately obvious that his victory is a
Heller was chosen by the Coordinated Information Apparatus to lead Mission Earth because he had no espionage experience and was therefore expected to fail. While preparing for the mission he fell in love with The Countess Krak, then spent just as much if not more time overhauling the spaceship Prince Caucalsia. Unbeknownst to Heller, his handler Soltan Gris
is actually trying to sabotage his mission. This means that Heller
spends several books thwarting Gris without even being aware of it.
on Earth, Heller will make some unlikely allies, learn the tactics of
his enemies, be mistaken for the heir of the most powerful and
wealthiest man on the planet, give self-defense courses to prostitutes,
and drive a lot of cars. He'll also kill people in very incredulous
ways. A lot of people, in fact - he beats your average action
hero's final score by several orders of magnitude. But can Heller
uncover and thwart the Apparatus' machinations, free Earth from a
sinister conspiracy, fix one world's environmental problems and repair
the damage done to another?
Yes, but it'll take ten tedious books to do it.
Lady Arthrite Stuffy is the wife of the publisher of the Daily Speaker, one of the largest newspapers in the Voltarian Confederacy. This makes her a target if the Coordinated Information Apparatus wants to take over the media, even though they already have a plan to get Voltar's lords addicted to drugs to become their pawns that way.
The Assassin Pilots are assigned to the Coordinated Information Apparatus' base in Turkey on Earth, given orders to use their deadly spaceships to destroy anyone who thinks of fleeing the planet, much like those old Soviet commissars ordered to shoot soldiers if they retreated. Like almost everyone else in the Apparatus, they are wholly ineffective at their jobs.
Old Atty is another derelict Fleet
veteran hanging around the Emergency Reserve, and like Commander Crup is pals with Jettero Heller, and like Crup tries to warn Heller away from choosing the
dangerous Tug One. Quite redundant, in other words. Why is he in the book? Why is he on this list?
is a cranky, elderly clerk working in the Coordinated Information Apparatus, sharing Section 451 with Soltan Gris. He exists
to complain about Gris not being around enough, Gris disappearing from
the office, Gris not doing enough work, and Gris making excessive work
Fleet Intelligence Officer Bis is yet another friend of Jettero Heller. He's investigating the Coordinated Information Apparatus on behalf of the Fleet, which in true Big Government tradition has its own intelligence service - but a better one than the corrupt Apparatus, of course.
"Bloody Dagger" is my
nickname for the Coordinated Information Apparatus enforcer who has followed Soltan Gris to Earth,
waiting in the shadows to deliver lethal retribution if Gris fails at
his task. The moniker comes from the notes left on Gris' pillow
"signed" by a doodle of a dagger dripping with blood. Since BD manages to remain undetected, has incredible intrusion skills, and is
focused on the mission, the obvious question is why he or she wasn't the one chosen to deal with Jettero Heller
in the first place. This assassin is such an important character, and
the mystery surrounding his identity so interesting, that I have already
forgotten who his actual identity was.
Captain Bolz runs the Blixo,
a Coordinated Information Apparatus freighter that makes regular runs to and from Earth. His
cargo is mostly prisoners and drugs, but he likes to bring back a bit of
Earth scotch for shore leave. A burly, furry bear of a Blintonian, and
unexpectedly friendly with Gris, even though the latter doesn't have
any blackmail material on him or anything. How the two managed to
strike up an amiable work relationship remains unexplained.
Emperor Cling the Lofty
is the nominal head of the Voltar Confederacy, though he issues
orders off-screen, and doesn't actually appear when the Grand Council is
meeting. Lombar Hisst hopes to get him hooked on drugs so he can depose him and take over the Confederacy.
The Computer is the interface
accessing the Coordinated Information Apparatus' extensive central databanks, similar to Google
if the latter were vaguely insulting and sarcastic. It is smart enough
to understand typed inquiries and enough of a smartass to point out when
its users are being stupid. By far the best character in the book,
which means it's only in two or three chapters, tops.
The Corsa girl is an ugly, outdoorsy woman heir to half of the planet Modon, an agricultural backwater known for its variety of crops and "interesting peasant revolts." She knows a lot about animal husbandry and soil erosion. Monte Pennwell's family wants to marry him off to her to find some way to profit after putting him through the Royal Academy of Arts to earn a poetry degree.
is a "cellologist" specializing in body augmentation, who was snapped
up by the Coordinated Information Apparatus after getting in
trouble for using his talents to
create abominations. Now he makes nightmarish chimeras and other
products for the black market freakshow circuits, because Voltarians pay
good money to look at a woman whose breasts and buttocks have swapped
places. When not committing crimes against humanity, Crobe's skills
with biology may be put to use by other characters, assuming he doesn't
decide to change careers over the course of the story.
is an old veteran in charge of the Emergency Fleet Reserve, where a
flotilla of obsolete spaceships are left to rot in the desert sun with
the expectation that they'll be ready to leap into the sky to face off
an invasion. He of course knows and is extremely chummy with Jettero
Cun and Twa are the footwoman and "bed-maker," respectively, picked up by Flick in some extremely stupid chapters. Jus by looking at heir names, one can' help bu feel like somehing's missing.
Doctor Cutswitz is a back-alley "head plumber" who might be able to help Soltan Gris figure out what's wrong with his brain. Beyond the staggering stupidity and total lack of a moral compass, anyway.
who goes by Ahmed in Turkey, is a criminal from Modon who serves as Soltan Gris' taxi driver. He is eager to get Gris to spend money, such as by helping him "purchase" Utanc the belly dancer. His name means "fate" in Modon, for some hamfisted irony or
Lord Dohm is the great-uncle of Monte Pennwell, and works at the Royal Courts and Prison of the Voltarian Confederacy. It was during a monthly luncheon with him that Monte was inspired by dust motes in a sunbeam to write a poem, and reached for a bit of scrap paper that turned out to be The Confession of Soltan Gris. Dohm is therefore partly to blame for this disaster.
has been blackmailed into serving as the Coordinated Information Apparatus' puppet on Grand
Council meetings. He's a slobbering, senile old fart who has
miraculously maintained his libido for pretty young men despite his
advanced age. Endow is the first of the book's homosexual characters,
and unfortunately not the most offensive.
Faht Bey, the alias of Timyjo Faht, is the rotund leader of the Coordinated Information Apparatus base in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey. His job is to
yell at Soltan Gris for being stupid in ways that jeopardize the Apparatus
Flick is another driver working for the Coordinated Information Apparatus, who ends up assigned to the most unlikely of characters, and like many in the organization is an ex-criminal. Flick has big dreams of assembling a crew of hardened cons to execute the heist of the century, dreams completely unrelated to the plot, but which will manage to derail the story for several chapters.
Flip of the planet
Wiggo is a Coordianted Information Apparatus technician stationed at Turkey, and one of the few characters
in the book who is almost competent at his job and free of any loathsome characteristics. Soltan Gris might have some work for him.
Professor Gyrant Slahb is a retired old "cellologist" who Soltan Gris disguised himself as in order to convince Prahd Bittlestiffender to work for him.
is the sister of everyone's favorite combat engineer, because one
Heller just wasn't enough. She is even more famous and universally beloved than Jettero Heller, with fully fifteen billion fans who just stop short of worshiping her, but since she's a girl she gets to be a celebrated Homeview
star instead of something productive. Her big scene was popping in for a
few chapters to be Soltan Gris' pity date, crooning a SEXY and nonsensical
song that caused a riot in a nightclub,
but she also christened Prince Caucalsia at the end of the
first book. As a female connected to the main character, she is
inevitably held hostage by the bad guys at some point.
Queen Hora was the Hostage Queen of Flisten, who as part of a treaty surrendering her world to the Voltarian Confederacy was given an extensive palace on Voltar, as well as her own private island, the imaginatively-named Relax Island. Her estate and staff have been maintained for thirty thousand years as a bit of government graft. She's infamous for her carnal escapades, so that she raised a private "army" of hunks to attend her, yet went to such excesses without being corrupted by psychology first, oddly enough.
Hound is the "yellow-man" manservant of Monte Pennwell. This automatically makes him a character deserving of our deepest sympathies.
Lord Invay is the Royal Historian and chair of the Voltarian Board of Censors, responsible for publishing Mission Earth.
He hopes that its fantastical tale will settle any speculation about a
purely fictional planet called "Earth," some quack profession called
"psychology," and something called "drugs."
Jarp is a... something, encountered in Hightee Heller's rooftop estate. He works with and knows a bunch about musical instruments.
is CEO of Zanco Cellological Equipment and Supplies, a company with
extensive dealings with the Voltarian government. As such, Zanco is
familiar with the ways of graft and kickbacks, and is perfectly happy to
help Soltan Gris pad Mission Earth's expenses with only a minimum of fuss. Gris will proceed to waste this windfall in less than a single book.
General Loop was in charge of the Voltar Confederacy's electronic security, and before his death outfitted his penthouse with all kinds of techno-wizardry and priceless artifacts, more or less for giggles. Flick desperately wants to rob this apartment, which is reported to be full of treasure but also haunted.
Meelay is a screeching harridan of a landlady, not afraid to
personally remove a deadbeat tenet's belongings from her property, but
easily mollified by crisp notes of Voltarian currency. Yet another character who exists to make Soltan Gris' life less pleasant.
Monte Pennwell is a pampered young noble who uncovered the confession of Soltan Gris almost a century after the events surrounding Mission Earth, inspiring him to become an amateur investigative journalist and produce the full story, Mission Earth. Thanks for that, Monte. He's whiny, wimpy, spastic, and surprisingly vulnerable to Earth's
corrupting influence, but ultimately unimportant to the story, since he
doesn't actually play a role in it. The author uses Monte as a
viewpoint character to bridge the Soltan Gris and Jettero Heller-narrated sections, as well as to write a long Envoi to wrap up the already-concluded story. Also a truly horrid poet.
Royal Prince Mortiiiy has had a falling out with his father Emperor Cling the Lofty over suspicions that the current monarch of the Voltarian Confederacy had
Mortiiy's brothers assassinated, leading to a protracted civil war in the Calabar system. Careful reading of the
prologue reveals that he will eventually become Emperor Mortiiy the
Brilliant, thus spoiling some important events in the final book.
was Lombar Hisst's predecessor as head of the Coordinated Information Apparatus, and the one who
authorized the construction of a base on Earth to profit from the drug
trade. Poison is suspected to have played a factor in Hisst's
succession of his post.
Prahd Bittlestiffender is a bright young "cellologist" who recently graduated with high marks,
and like most medical grads is now broke and starving. Soltan Gris commissioned him to do some spy stuff, and may have further use for him on Earth.
Prahd likes his nurses postpubescent but
underaged, has an equally-disturbing habit of "enhancing" his
patients' sex organs whether they ask for it or not, and apparently has a
fetish for vicariously impregnating women with his genetic material.
Other than that, he's a good kid.
Raht and Terb are two Coordinated Intelligence Apparatus advance
agents who infiltrated Earth ahead of Soltan Gris, who
prefers to loaf around Turkey watching remotely while they do all his
work. They are simply pathetic when it comes to actual combat, yet
display more competence and initiative than their boss, begging the
question of why they work for Gris and not the other way around. Their
main job is to flip the switch on the 831 Relayer.
Colonel Rajabah Stinkins is an officer of supply encountered boozing away in the Dirt Club, an
Army brothel. Soltan Gris enlists his aid to "investigate" some high-end surveillance equipment.
Raza Torr is the
head of the Coordinated Information Apparatus' Provocation Section, concerned with infiltrating
seditious groups and inciting them into getting captured, or creating
counterfeit currency to slip into people's pockets so they'll get
executed by the Finance Police. Gris starts the story with him good and blackmailed thanks to
incriminating pictures of Raza's rape and murder of a woman who turned out to be the
mistress of the Commander of the Death Battalions.
Shafter is the family mechanic of Monte Pennwell, and also acts as the twerp's driver. Come to think of it, Heller's one of the few people in the book who regularly drives himself around.
Ske is the chaffuer of Soltan Gris, who is somehow high enough in the Coordinated Information Apparatus' hierarchy to warrant his own driver. He's lazy, cheerfully upbeat, dumb enough
to try to talk to mysterious assailants in case their attempts to kill
him are a misunderstanding, and yet capable of sly sarcasm. Ske
obviously doesn't approve of Gris' methods or lifestyle, but still looks
after his boss. Gris does not return this loyalty.
is in charge of the squad of Coordinated Information Apparatus soldiers assigned to keep
Jettero Heller under control. Instead he and his men have become
committed to ensuring Heller's happiness and personal safety, such as
by escorting the Countess Krak to Heller's quarters each night
for sex. Since Heller repaid his services by giving him enough money to
purchase a promotion, Snelz could be considered a pimp. His loyalty
clearly lies with Heller over the Apparatus, which certainly won't be
important during the story's climax.
Lord Snor is in charge of the Voltar Confederacy's main media network, Homeview. He forms a completely arbitrary obstacle to drag out Book Nine even longer than it already is.
Spurk is the owner of the Eyes and Ears of Voltar, a business providing military-grade
espionage gear to both the Voltarian government and apparently anyone with a big
enough check. He's responsible for giving Soltan Gris a lot of the spy gadgets that he'll spend so much of the books fiddling around with, like the bloody bugging equipment.
The Actual Captain Stabb
commands Mission Earth's mission ship, rather than a certain Royal
officer. As a space pirate and an Antimanco, he instinctively hates
Captain Tars Roke
is the King's Own Astrographer, and the one who went over the
surveillance data on Earth. He drew the
conclusion that the planet's pollution was threatening to use up its
oxygen supply and flood the continents with rising sea levels, a
cataclysm that must be averted so that the future cataclysm of alien
invasion can proceed as scheduled. Roke is also an old friend and sometime pen-pal of Jettero Heller.
The Widow Tayl
is a contact of Soltan Gris, whom he blackmailed after learning how she hired
someone to murder her husband. She owns a large estate with private
medical facilities Gris has a need for, and despite her unattractiveness
is quite a nymphomaniac who will voluntarily sleep with someone like Gris to slake her lust. She gets even worse with age.
Lord Turn is in charge of the Royal Courts and Prison, a higher class of justice for the Voltarian Confederacy's ritziest crimes. It's to him that Soltan Gris addresses the "confession" that forms the first seven and a half books of Mission Earth, in a paradoxical attempt to both stall for time before his execution and get a mercifully quick execution.
was a comely transvestite scheduled for execution after saying no to
the wrong officer, but was rescued when it was noticed that he bore a
slight resemblance to the Countess Krak. Now he serves as her body
double while she's slipping out of Spiteos to visit Jettero Heller, sleeping in
her bed so the Countess can sleep in Heller's.
Twolah and Odur, aka "Two-Two" and "Oh Dear", are
a pair of lisping, mincing gay caricatures. The prettyboys' purpose in
the Coordinated Information Apparatus is to assume positions too odious for most agents, but Soltan Gris is quickly able to use the power of psychology to make them his tools. Uh, not that way.
Dr. Agnes Morelay is the chief psychologist of Delbert John Rockecenter,
but also hoped to marry into his fortune at one point only to be
spurned for someone else, which of course has had no impact on her
professional advice. Like any good student of psychology, she knows that the profession was masterminded by Nazis to commit genocide on their enemies by turning them gay.
"Babe" Corleone is the current leader of the Corleone mob, a former showgirl who inherited the role after the murder of her husband "Holy Joe" Corleone. She is, at least in the author's eyes, freakishly tall, and quickly becomes a doting mother figure for Jettero Heller when he arrives on Earth.
Since the latter is responsible for any inroads Babe makes against her
rivals, we can conclude that she isn't a very good mob boss. Allegedly
Catholic, might be a Satanist, and prone to believing anything she reads
in the newspapers right after warning someone not to trust those
Balmor is a butler who ends up serving the main characters later in the story. Or maybe he's the chauffeur? A sort of do-anything lackey?
is the Corleone mob's demolition expert, a
of "the last war" with plenty of military experience. A fast friend and ally of Jettero Heller
who comes to his aid both in battle and to help cheat his way through
college. His nickname is a reference to his libido, not his vocation.
Nurse Bildirjin serves under Dr. Prahd Bittlestiffender
in both the operating room and the bedroom, and if she were American
definitely be part of a statutory rape case. She's also a tad psychotic
when it comes to surgery without anesthesia, and fine with scams and
extortion. But she has a grudge against Soltan Gris, so you know she's good at heart.
Captain Bitts commands the luxury yacht Golden Sunset, and all you need to know about him is that
he comes with the boat. All you need to know about the boat is that it
has its own go-kart track.
Colonel Boris Gaylov is a KGB agent with a very surprising cover identity, whose reaction to discovering an alien base in Turkey is to try and steal drugs from it. Why yes, he's gay, the author really is that unsubtle.
Buhlshot and Flagrant
are the president and vice-president of Fatten, Farten, Burstein and
Ooze, America's premier advertising and PR firm. They
live in a strange world of girls in lamb costumes spreading flower
petals for important guests and professionally-directed defenestrations, but are utterly subservient to Delbert John Rockecenter's interests. In fact,
Buhlshot will literally lick Mr. Bury's boots.
is a New York Police Inspector on the Narcotici mob's payroll, a wily
enemy of the Corleone mob. He doesn't actually do much when he appears in the story, but we're supposed to find it satisfying and hilarious when Jettero Heller finds ways to easily defeat and humiliate "Bulldog" in front of his peers.
Mr. Bury, an attorney of Swindle
and Crouch, is a "Wall Street lawyer" and perhaps Delbert John Rockecenter's main
minion. He takes a personal interest in Jettero Heller's identity as Delbert John Rockecenter Jr. for reasons that will be important later, and also works closely with Soltan Gris in his efforts to thwart Heller. Has a bit of a snake fetish.
Delbert John Rockecenter
is a very thinly-veiled satire of another industrialist whose name
starts with a "Rocke" and ends with an "er." This tycoon controls
Octopus Oil, the I.G. Barben pharmaceutical company, the financial
industry, the media, the US government - basically the whole planet Earth
is caught in his sinister grasp. He's good and insane, enjoying a god
complex and hallucinations, and wants to kill everyone through
sterilization and by using "Psychiatric Birth Control" to turn the world
gay, because... Also obsessively watches his secretaries pee so he can
make sure they aren't pregnant, he hates babies.
Delbert John Rockecenter Jr. would be the son and heir of the aforementioned ultrarich magnate. Lombar Hisst decided to give Jettero Heller the Rockecenter Jr. "cover identity" in order to make him a high priority target on Earth,
under the expectation that Rockecenter would go to great lengths to
ensure that any pretenders to his dynasty would meet as nasty an end as
possible. The only way this could possibly backfire would be if Heller
were some sort of unkillable main character able to leverage this fake
identity for wealth and power, or if there really was a secret Rockecenter son running around somewhere.
Dolores Wister, née Pubiano de Cópula, is a Mexican peasant girl who was allegedly ravished and married to the "Whiz Kid" while he was living as a bandito - at least, according to J. Walter Madison's media blitz.
Faustino "The Noose" Narcotici is the family head of the New York mafia, currently muscling in on the Corleone mob's territory. He willingly sells drugs, and is allied with Delbert John Rockecenter's pharmaceutical interests, making him a bad guy.
aka "Black Jowls," is a representative of Grabbe-Manhattan Bank sent
after Soltan Gris for trying to mortgage property he does not legally own, more
specifically the property the secret Apparatus base is built under.
Gerry Wister is hired by J. Walter Madison to portray the "Whiz Kid" when the "real" Jerome Terrace Wister is unavailable. This "body double" looks nothing like Jettero Heller, so that Madison gives Heller buck teeth and glasses to wear in public in order to sell the illusion.
is the head of the Atlantic City mob, whose attempt to hamper the good
guys is almost immediately counteracted, making the entire exercise
basically pointless. Fun name, though. "Gobbo."
GUNSALMO SILVA! is first encountered as an abductee of the alien Coordinated Information Apparatus, only to be hypnotized and turned into what is allegedly the ultimate assassin. Despite being assigned as Soltan Gris'
personal hitman, the latter is terrified of him, hence the all-caps and
exclamation point. Before his capture he betrayed and murdered "Holy Joe" Corleone.
Harvey "Smasher" Lee
is a moderately crooked used car salesman/gas station owner in Fair
Oakes, VA. He sells Jettero Heller a car in Book Two, and
unexpectedly reappears four books later while trying to steal it back or
something, it's not really important and doesn't count as a spoiler.
General Hatchetheimer is a
ninety-something ex-Nazi, the last surviving member of Hitler's general
staff who still finds the time to lead terrorist cells to attack US
embassies in Egypt. Mr. Bury is on friendly enough terms to consult him
for tactical advice, such as how to squander a tank division and
aircraft carrier in order to capture a single speeding car.
"Holy Joe" Corleone was the leader of the Corleone mob family
until his sudden death, widely suspected to be at the hands of his
former bodyguard GUNSALMO SILVA! Although just as murderous and whatnot
as most mobsters, it's noted that he refused to deal with drugs, which is what made him "Holy." Upon
his death he was succeeded by his wife "Babe" Corleone.
Horsey Mary Schmeck is a prostitute and heroin addict, encountered in the process of
being run out of Fair Oakes, Virginia. Her purpose in the story is to tell Jettero Heller about how awful psychology is for getting her hooked on drugs to become a prostitute, convince him of the importance of a college education, and then die offscreen for a bit of drama.
Inkswitch is the identity used by Soltan Gris while masquerading as a federal agent on Earth. If he has a first name I can't find it. He's later made the "Rockecenter Family Spi" [sic], which isn't as useful as you may think.
Israel "Izzy" Epstein
is a mournful economist with a talent for numbers, an odd
and a mixture of enthusiasm and ineptitude when it comes to suicide
attempts. After being saved by Jettero Heller he vows to use his mathematical powers to ensure that
Heller becomes insanely wealthy. Kind of like Han Solo and Chewbacca, if Chewie were a pessimistic Jewish accountant.
Jerome Terrance Wister is the college student identity provided by Mr. Bury for Jettero Heller as an alternative to the Delbert John Rockecenter Jr.
persona, once Bury's attempts to properly kill Heller failed. As "Jet"
Wister, Heller is able to experience the fun of college life, gain the
credentials in nuclear engineering to legitimize the alien technologies
he unloads on Earth's market, and become a media sensation known as the
"Whiz Kid" with a little help from J. Walter Madison.
Jimmy "The Gutter" Tavilnasty is a mob hitman after GUNSALMO SILVA!,
encountered in Turkey searching for his prey. It is mandatory to refer
to him as Jimmy "The Gutter" each time he is mentioned in the story.
Karagoz is the ghazi of Soltan Gris' Turkish manor, a tough old peasant whose role in the story is to be abused and insulted by the main character.
is a sinister practitioner of psychology with a fixation on Lizzie Borden and
confidence that, after learning that he is a psychologist, women will
instantly be eager to have sex with him.
is a singer and fashion
expert encountered during a plane ride. Though her fortunes greatly
improve over the course of the story, she's ultimately unimportant to
it. Like 80% of the entries on this page, in other words.
Maizie Spread is a simple farmgirl from Cornhole, Kansas who starts a two billion dollar paternity suit against the "Whiz Kid" after he allegedly offered to shield her from the harsh sun with his body.
Special Agents Maulin and Stupewitz
are federal investigators who might have a run-in with Jettero Heller at some point in, say, Book Two. They apparently see nothing wrong with giving someone they're holding in custody lessons in how to handle firearms, differentiate drugs, and conduct an
official FBI investigation.
is an old Turkish woman heading the caretakers of Soltan Gris' residence in that country. Her name means "beauty" but she's turned dumpy, and that's
the extent of her characterization.
Mike Mutazione is the owner of the Jiffy-Spiffy Garage, a friend of Jettero Heller who customizes some classic cars that are just as important to the story as he is.
was a tank driver in the "last war" discharged for being too brutal to
the enemy. He earns his pay crashing along the streets of New York City
as a cab driver, and teaches Jettero Heller how to survive such a commute.
Mucky Hack was an investigative reporter for the Daily Libel, tragically slain in a freak car-bombing after digging too deeply into the Corleone mob family's activities. You know, the good guys.
Mudur Zengin is a banker in Istanbul who helps Soltan Gris invest the titular Fortune of Fear
to solve his credit problems, only to watch helplessly as Gris proceeds
to throw it all away before the book is halfway finished.
Musef and Torgut are two
Turkish wrestlers Soltan Gris sends to rough up Jettero Heller soon after they arrive on Earth,
reestablish how unstoppable Heller is by getting their asses kicked
instead. Gris later employs them to brutalize his villa staff into
Oozopopolis is the New Jersey district head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and
Tobacco, who stopped taking bribes from the Corleone mob and switched sides
to Narcotici mob. He is literally killed in the same chapter we learn about
is a Catholic priest who ends up overseeing some mobsters' funerals.
He knows that invoking a
"Black Mass" damns the dead beyond God's power to forgive, an
unspeakable act which can only be absolved through thirty Pater Nosters
and thirty-one Ave
Miss Peace is the personal secretary of Delbert John Rockecenter. I keep forgetting to mention her when she appears in chapters, because she is completely unimportant to the story.
Miss Pinch and Miss Candy are
a lesbian "husband and wife" responsible for some of the story's most
disturbing chapters, and not in the way that lesbians normally disturb
homophobes. Their understanding of sex involves scratching and biting,
cheese graters and Tabasco sauce, and as advocates of "Psychiatric Birth
Control" their mission is to torture male captives until they turn
gay. Their relationship with Soltan Gris is absolutely
horrifying, and takes up an alarming proportion of the book, but is
ultimately as relevant to the plot as Gris' credit rating.
Ralph and George are a pair of deputy sheriffs in Connecticut, who Jettero Heller deputizes as marines on behalf of the African country of Maysabongo so they'll watch an old Prohibition-era roadhouse he sometimes uses as a base. Not terribly bright, not terribly important.
Razza Louseini is consigliere of the Narcotici mob. He's got a knife scar from his mouth to left ear, and "reptilian eyes." That's about it.
is one of the few people who objects to Jettero Heller using
mafia influence to
advance his educational career, and does her best to sabotage his
efforts to complete his higher education. She also has a hate-on for
anything nuclear, is convinced
that the world's destruction is imminent, and is less than appreciative
when Heller saves her from being gang-raped, so we're not allowed to
sympathize with her. It says a lot about this story that a bitchy
teacher is one of the most effective obstacles to the good guys.
Mr. Smith is yet another persona of Soltan Gris, the one he uses while managing J. Walter Madison.
Stonewall Biggs is a Virginian county clerk who is crooked enough
to issue false birth certificates for a bribe, but honest enough to do
so in person so he can claim to have issued them to the right people. When Jettero Heller saves him, Biggs swears to help him if
he needs it. He'll reappear in the story at just about the time the reader has forgotten about him.
Teenie Whopper may just be the worst thing in all of Mission Earth. She's an underage nymphomaniac scam artist and compulsive liar, a friend of Miss Pinch and Miss Candy
they bring in for some hands-on sex education. Her job is to have
chapter after chapter of unarousing and uncomfortable sex with Soltan Gris, and generally make every situation she's involved in worse than it needs to be.
Ters (evil laugh)
is an old man who gives an evil laugh nearly every time he is mentioned in
the story. He comes as an accessory to a limousine Soltan Gris buys at one point.
Mrs. Toots Wister, née Switch, is another woman who ends up suing the "Whiz Kid" for adultery as part of J. Walter Madison's quest for headlines.
Torpedo Fiaccola has a stupid name, and is also stupid enough to carry his I.D. and
his mom's name and address while on a mission to snipe someone. He's a
hitman hired by various people over the story to go after the good guys,
and thus is doomed never to succeed. Also, psychology made him a necrophiliac. He graces the cover of Death Quest for some inexplicable reason, despite only appearing in less than a third of the book.
Dr. Tremor Graves is a physician with a connection to both Dr. Agnes Morelay and Delbert John Rockecenter,
burdened with a terrible secret that could change the situation on
Earth entirely. Despite his importance, he has significantly less
screentime than a lot of other entries on this list, which says a lot
about how badly Mission Earth is written.
Senator Twaddle (?,
NJ) is a member of Congress firmly in the pockets of Delbert John Rockecenter, who sets Soltan Gris up as a Senate Investigator. He's memorized
the Rockecenter family history and is willing to share it with strangers
at the drop of a hat.
is a "simple desert dancing girl" purchased by Soltan Gris and
in from the Soviet Union to be his personal belly dancer and sex toy,
resulting in entire Parts of the story being wasted on Gris' attempts to
get Utanc in the sack with him. This supposed desert nomad has a
suspicious knowledge of modern audio equipment, foreign
languages, and urban life, which Gris goes out of his way not to notice
or think about. Turn-ons include phallic architecture, 1930's Hollywood
stars, and prepubescent boys.
Utanc's litte boys are two preteens
who help Utanc around the house, sexually. As part of an idiotic and
unfortunately successful bid to temporarily get back in Utanc's good
graces, Soltan Gris kidnapped the two nameless brats for alien plastic
surgery, so that they like young versions of vintage Hollywood stars
James Cagney and Rudolph Valentino. This is just one of Mission Earth's many moments.
is the owner of the Gracious Palms, a high-class whorehouse catering to
UN diplomats in New York. As per RPG traditions, saving his life will
earn the hero some free housing. Vantagio also knows enough about
political science to tutor Jettero Heller on international affairs, proving that there is hope for those who graduated with a liberal arts degree.
The "Whiz Kid" is a media sensation whipped up by J. Walter Madison, a bucktoothed, bespectacled outlaw nerd who takes mafia bribes to throw car races, steals cities, robs trains, and impregnates many gullible women. He's based extremely loosely on Jerome Terrace Wister, another fictional character.
54 Charlee Nine is the Robotbrain in the Translatophone partially to blame for Mission Earth.
His presence serves to handwave any questions concerning measurements,
or why the (bleep) all the cursewords are censored - the Machine Purity League requires its members to screen out foul language as part of the "built-in mission by all machines to protect biological systems from themselves." All the murders and
rapes and drug references in the story are fine, though.
The 831 Relayer amplifies the signal of the bugging equipment that Soltan Gris implanted in the skull of Jettero Heller,
allowing him to "monitor" his nemesis while kicking back in his Turkey
villa. But if Gris is too close to Heller, the Relayer needs to be
turned off so that the signal doesn't overwhelm Gris' equipment. Thus
an extraordinary amount of the story is dedicated to Gris ordering Raht and Terb to flip the switch on or off so that Gris can continue to watch Heller TV as he shifts from location to location.
Absorbo-coat was invented by the Voltar Confederacy, and is something you can spray on a spaceship to absorb radar and light and so forth, making it effectively invisible. It's delicate, though, and easy to scratch. Don't think about how it could stay intact when encountering micrometorites and space debris in a setting without deflector shields.
Blueflash is a blue light that knocks out anyone who sees it. The Coordinated Information Apparatus uses it to help in covert landings, and that's it.
The bugging equipment
is a miraculous example of Voltarian technology that, when implanted on
someone's optic and aural nerves, transmits these electric impulses from
their heads to receivers like they were TV signals, allowing someone to
see and hear what the bugged person does. The end result is that Gris
is able to comment on and narrate Heller's experiences without knowing
quite what's going on in Heller's head, as well as miss out on vital
information due to arbitrary technical problems.
is a rare male calico housecat adopted by Jettero Heller. He is smart enough for the Countess Krak to train, and true to Dungeons & Dragons is surprisingly effective in close combat.
is the Voltarian equivalent for cytology, except of course much more
advanced. Positive applications of this science can heal almost any
injury, while other uses in the books involve making horrible flesh
freaks by swapping body parts around and fusing victims together.
Chank-pops are round diversions enjoyed by members of the Voltar Confederacy. When popped open, they release a pleasing, stimulating scent. They are not drugs.
A Code Break is a violation of the Voltar Confederacy's Space Code, the accidental or intentional outing of oneself as an alien to another planet's native population. Soltan Gris will spend roughly half the books trying to catch Jettero Heller in one, even though Gris already has orders to murder him for unrelated reasons.
The Coordinated Information Apparatus, or Apparatus, is the central intelligence agency of the Voltarian Confederacy. It is headed by Lombar Hisst,
who has turned it into a criminal empire he hopes to use to take over
the Confederacy by imitating the intelligence methods of Earth. Despite being filled with incompetent idiots such as Soltan Gris, we are supposed to view the Apparatus as a serious threat.
Corky is the artificial intelligence Jettero Heller installed in the Prince Caucalsia while we weren't looking, and helps him fly and manage the ship. He terrifies Soltan Gris, who is convinced that the tug is actually haunted or something. Strangely, he's only referred to as "Corky" for a few chapters early in Disaster, the rest of the time he's "the tug" in the narration.
The Corleone mob family are your standard set of murderous, smuggling mafiosi, but they don't push drugs
so they're good guys. In an amazing coincidence, the Corleones share a
name with the mob family featured in The Godfather novel and films. Since this is of course a work of satire, presumably this doesn't count as copyright infringement.
Drugs are addictive substances that eventually kill their users, found only on the perverse planet Earth. Lombar Hisst wants to use them to take over the Voltar Confderacy
by addicting the highest levels of government so that they rely on him for their supply. Drugs are very, very
bad, but if they are legalized they will go away and stop hurting
Earth is a dangerously stupid planet. Its native population is
currently doing its best to render the world uninhabitable through
pollution, and has also come up with concepts such as psychology and psychiatry
that are so dangerous, the world should be quarantined so no other
civilization will be contaminated by them. Unfortunately, Earth is also on the Invasion Timetables, so the Voltarian Confederacy has to deal with it. Voltar knows the world as Blito-P3, and as of Mission Earth's publication the government line is that the planet does not exist.
Hot jolt is a beverage enjoyed in the Voltar Confederacy, a rough analogue to Earth's coffee. Despite insinuations that it is a stimulant, it is definitely not a drug.
Hypnohelmets are devices developed by the Voltarian Confederacy
that can be used to put wearers into trance states allowing them to
quickly learn foreign languages and other information, or to program
them to behave in certain ways or feel debilitating pain if they perform
specified actions. In other words, they can turn an unwilling prisoner
into a loyal, allegedly dangerous assassin, or remold an uptight,
chaste woman into a slattern with gang-rape fantasies. Hypnohelmets
will play a major role in the story, but not as it turns out in Lombar Hisst's plan to take control of the Confederacy's leadership.
The Invasion Timetables are an unbelievably ancient schedule the Voltarian Confederacy
follows as it adds more worlds to its empire, in order to facilitate
adding the next batch of worlds to its empire. They are sacred and completely
inviolate unless the Voltarians need to modify or ignore them, and
nobody at any point questions why they need to spend their money and
energy invading their neighbors instead of cleaning up Slum City or
healing the rift between the Mancos and Antimancos. Imperialism, ho!
A lepertige is a fearsome feline predator found in the Voltar Confederacy, much more dangerous than even an Earth leopard and tiger put together. It is the only big space cat discussed in these books.
Love is an unimportant concept that is featured only rarely in Mission Earth.
It is an inexplicable emotional bond that forms when a sufficiently
handsome male enters a room, notices a woman, and says "Hello, hello,
HELLO!" This causes her to feel crippling self-loathing and become set
on ending her independent existence to find happiness as his servile housewife. A
man may say similar words in response to a sufficiently awesome
spaceship, though whether they have the same effect on the vessel is unknown.
Maysabongo is an extremely African country inexplicably missing from modern maps. Jettero Heller and Izzy Epstein use it as a tax haven when they start their own oil company.
Mission Earth is the truly execrable book series you are currently reading about. It was compiled by aspiring investigative reporter Monte Pennwell in order to tell the true story of Mission Earth, and was judged so disturbing and outrageous by the Voltarian Confederacy that it was only fit for publishing on planet Earth itself, which is too insane to be further damaged by it - not that it exists.
Mission Earth is a covert operation by the Voltarian Confederacy to save Earth from its stupid inhabitants so that the planet will be fit for conquest a hundred years later, as per the Invasion Timetables. Officially it is supposed to fix Earth's environmental problems, but the Coordinated Information Apparatus is secretly sabotaging the operation to keep the rest of the government from discovering their illegal activities on the planet.
The Narcotici mob family are your standard set of murderous, smuggling mafiosi, indistinguishable from their rivals the Corleone mob save for the fact that they push drugs. They're allied with Delbert John Rockecenter and his whole pharmaceutical monopoly, making them bad guys.
PR is the art of destroying someone's reputation in the media, something created by Earth in order to sell newspapers by accusing people of bigamy. J. Walter Madison is the most notorious PR in the story.
A platen is a sheet or sequence of sheets with holes cut out in them, so that when laid over a physical document it reveals a secret message. Soltan Gris spends an overly-long subplot trying to find the platen Jettero Heller is using to communicate with Captain Tars Roke, so that he can safely kill Heller and fake his mission reports.
Prince Caucalsia is a legendary figure from Jettero Heller's homeworld of Manco, as well as his home province of Atalanta, who according to Folk Legend 894 took off and went to another planet. When he researches Earth,
Heller decides that Caucalsia settled on the lost continent of
Atlantis, which blew up when its black hole power plants went bad,
forcing him to resettle in the Caucasus Mountains. In short, white
people come from another planet and are far more advanced and civilized
than the lesser races of Earth.
Psychology and psychiatry are quack professions invented by the inhabitants of Earth
as an excuse to rape, kill and mutilate each other. Extended exposure to
their teachings can turn people into sex-crazed sociopaths convinced
that they have no souls, or worse, gay. The true Big Bads of
the story, in that nearly every villain is either a practitioner of it, a devotee, was warped by it into their present evil form, or is callously using it to further their own schemes.
The Slinkerton Detective Agency is a
private law enforcement service answering to Delbert John Rockecenter, because
controlling the entire U.S. government just isn't enough for him to get
Sparklewater is another beverage found in the Voltar Confederacy. It's either soda, wine, or carbonated wine, but definitely not a drug. Drugs are only found on Earth, remember.
Spiteos is the Coordinated Information Apparatus'
secret underground base, hidden in the middle of an open desert, under
the ruins of an old castle, right next to an active military camp. It
consists mostly of dungeons where the Apparatus holds their victims
until they're ready to be thrown into an adjacent canyon, the horrible
medical labs of Dr. Crobe, caches of equipment the Apparatus will use to take over the Voltar Confederacy, and stockpiles of drugs shipped in from Earth.
A time sight is a navigation device created by the Voltarian Confederacy
to assist in piloting faster-than-light vessels, which of course can't
see any planets they're about to smash into. These scopes can look up
to a day or so into the future, allowing you to spot and avoid incoming
obstacles. And, as it turns out, cheat the stock market for infinite
Tup is an alcoholic beverage consumed in the Voltar Confederacy. Despite alcohol being a drug, tup is not, because drugs are evil things found only on Earth.
The Voltar(ian) Confederacy is a
110-world alien empire that originated outside our galaxy, with their
current capital on the planet Voltar. It's 125,000 years old and seems
concerned solely with conquering other planets according to the Invasion Timetables
laid down by their ancestors, evidently very slowly. Despite its name,
the government appears to be highly centralized, a dynastic monarchy
facilitated by a class of aristocratic bureaucrats and a Grand Council.
It is meant to be superior to Earth's government in every way, so please ignore any evidence to the contrary.
Will-be Was engines are very fast but insanely dangerous, fit only for a hero like Jettero Heller
to use willingly. They work by projecting an artificial mass against
Time itself, bouncing the ship forward at faster-than-light speeds that
accelerate towards infinity, so fast that you need a separate time sight to navigate. Physics can therefore be added to the long list of rape victims in this story.
The World Federation of Mental Stealth is an organization from Earth comprised of Nazis who wanted to continue killing the insane (and Jews) even after the Allied victory in World War II. So they used PR to convince everyone to embrace psychology and psychiatry, until a psychologist was able to commit murder in broad daylight or expose himself to children without consequence. This is not so much a satire of how the author thinks psychology works as it is exactly how the author thinks psychology works.