AnnotationMission: Earth "Disaster"
Hubbard's spellbinding, earth-shattering series continues with the most startling entry yet. In Disaster, Jettero Heller, the Countess Krak, and their evil spy master draw their insidious net even more tightly around the Earth.
L. Ron Hubbard
Voltarian Censor's Disclaimer
This work is the worst sort of sensationalism and any potential reader has much better things to do. There are no such court documents as claimed in this book. There are no such computer readouts. There are no such ruins.
There is no planet Earth.
And that's that!
Chairman, Board of Censors
By Order of
His Imperial Majesty Wully the WiseVoltarian Translator's Preface
Lord Invay is getting out of hand.
First they give me this thing to translate and then they have him running around telling people not to read it. I can't figure it out.
As long as I have your attention, I'm 54 Charlee Nine and I am fulfilling my obligation by informing you that this work has been translated from Voltarian into your language, which, by the way, doesn't exist. Pretty clever. I have used "black hole" in this work, although I wish your language had a better term. It is slightly inaccurate as an astronomical phrase. It is more accurate as a description of your current Earth science, which is so convoluted that it is incapable of releasing any light. But since Earth scientists don't believe in hyperluminary (faster than light) phenomena, they can't understand the concept of imploded light, which is at the other end of the spectrum. So what you are about to read about black holes is accurate, despite what you've heard. They do come in very different sizes, and the small ones can be captured and used. As a final note, I never had a chance to meet Corky, who appears in this book, but he sounds like someone who had his circuits together.
With that, I give you your key to this volume.
54 Charlee Nine
Robotbrain in the
TranslatophoneKey to DISASTER
Absorbo-coat—Coating that absorbs light waves, making the object virtually invisible or undetectable. It is usually applied to spacecraft.
Activator-receiver—See Bugging Gear.
Ahmed—Taxi driver for Gris in Afyon and an Apparatus agent.
Afyon—City in Turkey where the Apparatus has a secret mountain base.
Antimanco—A race exiled long ago from the planet Manco for ritual murders. Several of them were assigned by Hisst to work for Gris. (See Control Star.)
Apparatus, Coordinated Information—The secret police of Voltar, headed by Hisst and manned by criminals. Their symbol is an inverted paddle which, because it looks like a bottle, earned its members the name "drunks."
Assassin IMlots—Used to kill any Apparatus personnel who try to flee a battle.
Bang-Bang—An ex-marine demolitions expert and member of the Babe Corleone mob.
Grafferty, "Bulldog"—A crooked New York City police inspector.
Grand Council—The governing body of Voltar which ordered a mission to keep Earth from destroying itself so it could be conquered on schedule per the Invasion Timetable.
Gris, Soltan—Apparatus officer placed in charge of Blito-P3 (Earth) section and an enemy of Jettero Heller.
Heller, Hightee – The most beautiful and popular entertainer in Voltar. She is also Jettero's sister.
Heller, Jettero – Combat engineer and Royal officer of the Fleet, sent with Gris on Mission Earth where he is operating under the name of Jerome Terrance Wister.
Hisst, Lombar – Head of the Apparatus; his plan to overthrow the Voltar Confederacy required sending Gris to sabotage Jettero Heller's mission.
Hot Jolt – A popular Voltarian drink.
Inkswitch – Phony name used by Gris when in the U.S. tending to be a federal official.
Invasion Timetable – A schedule of galactic conquest; the plans and budget of every section of Voltar must adhere to it. Bequeathed by Voltar's ancestors hundreds of thousands of years ago, it is inviolate and sacred and the guiding dogma of the Confederacy.
Joy – See Krak.
Karagoz – Old Turkish peasant, head of Gris' house in Afyon, Turkey. Husband of Melahat.
Krak, Countess – Condemned murderess, prisoner of Spiteos and sweetheart of Jettero Heller. On Earth, she is known as Heavenly Joy Krackle or "Miss Joy."
Knife Section—Section of the Apparatus named after its favorite weapon.
Madison, J. Walter—Fired from F.F.B.O. when his style of public relations caused the president of Patagonia to commit suicide, he was rehired by Bury to immortalize Jettero Heller in the media. He is also known as "J. Warbler Madman."
Manco—Home planet of Jettero Heller and Krak.
Manco Devil—Mythological spirit native to Manco.
Maysabongo—Jettero Heller was made a representative of this small African nation. Izzy Epstein made some of Heller's businesses Maysabongo corporations.
Melahat—Gris' s Turkish housekeeper in Afyon. Wife of Karagoz. Mister Calico—A calico cat that was trained by Krak.
Mortiiy, Prince—Leader of a rebel group on the planet Calabar.
Musef—A Turkish wrestling champ, working as a houseguard for Gris.
Narcotici, Faustino "The Noose"—Head of a Mafia family that is the outlet for drugs from I. G. Barben and seeks to take over the territory of the Corleone family.
Octopus Oil—Rockecenter company that controls the world's petroleum.
Pinch, Miss—Lesbian-sadist ex-Rockecenter employee who blackmailed Gris with a bigamous marriage and with trick photos of Gris with Teenie.
Raht—An Apparatus agent on Earth who was assigned by Hisst to help Gris sabotage Jettero Heller's mission; his partner Terb was murdered.
Rockecenter, Delbert John—Native of Earth who controls the planet's fuel, finance, governments and drugs.
Simmons, Miss—An antinuclear fanatic.
Snelz—Platoon commander at Spiteos who befriended Heller and Krak when they were prisoners there.
Spi—When Gris was made a Rockecenter family spy, his chest was tattooed by Miss Peace, Rockecenter's secretary, who could not spell. Gris thought "spi" was a special Rockecenter spelling and thus "spi" is the spelling Gris uses.
Spiteos—On Voltar, the secret fortress prison of the Apparatus.
Stabb, Captain—Leader of the Antimancos at the Afyon base.
Sultan Bey—The Turkish name Gris assumes in Afyon, Turkey.
Swindle and Crouch—Law firm representing Rockecenter.
Terb—Murdered partner of Raht.
Teenie—Teenager who kept seducing Gris.
Ters—Turkish driver for Gris.
Time-sight—Voltarian navigational aid used on faster-than-light ships to spot obstructions in the future and thus change the present course to avoid them.
Torgut—A Turkish wrestling champ, working as a houseguard for Gris.
Twoey—Nickname given to Delbert John Rockecenter II.
Twiddle, Senator—United States congressman and supporter of Rockecenter.
Utanc—A belly dancer that Gris bought to be his concubine slave.
Viewer—See Bugging Gear.
Voltar—Home planet and seat of the 110-world confederacy that was established over 125,000 years ago. Voltar is ruled by the Emperor through the Grand Council in accordance with the Invasion Timetable.
Will-be Was—The feared time drive that allowed Heller to cover the 22 1/2-light-year distance between Earth and Voltar in a little over three days.
Wister, Jerome Terrance—Name that Jettero Heller is using on Earth.PART SIXTY-TWO
To My Lord Turn, Justiciary of the Royal Courts and Prison,
Government City, Planet Voltar, Voltar Confederacy
Your Lordship, Sir!
I, Soltan Gris, Grade XI General Services Officer, former Secondary Executive of the Coordinated Information Apparatus, Voltar Confederacy (All Hail His Royal Majesty Cling the Lofty and All of His Empire), am now forwarding the eighth and final part of my confession.
I will now be able to relate how it was that I came to be in your fine prison. Your Lordship may have been shocked to learn that Fleet Officer Jettero Heller was killed at that roadhouse in Connecticut. Yes, I ordered Agent Raht to kill him, but it was still Heller's fault. After all, he was the one who bought that desolated roadhouse where the Mafia once smuggled illegal liquor, who had befriended the old blind woman and who had posed as a "whitey engineer" for the Maysabongo delegation. He was the one who had hired those two deputy sheriffs and made them "Maysabongo marines."
My reaction at the time was a strange sort of numbness. I had planned, plotted and dreamed of Heller's death for months and I should have been elated. But I wasn't, for some reason.
I also felt no joy when I watched Ahmed drop the poison-gas bomb down the air chute to the Countess Krak's cell.
My personal feelings did not deter me from my duty, however, when Agent Rant told me there were diamonds at the roadhouse. I had ordered Rant to kill Heller, and all the bungling idiot could do was whine about losing blood and bother me with radioed pleas for help. Typical riffraff. But when he said he had found a bag of diamonds, duty called.
So it was a definite pleasure to take Tug One from Afyon with Captain Stabb and his crew of Antimancos. The ship—Heller had named it the Prince Caucalsia—had been sitting dormant while Heller was in the United States. I figured it was only fitting that I visit his corpse in the very ship that he used to bring us to Earth. After all, that was when my troubles started. I told the assassin pilots that they didn't have to worry—we weren't trying to escape the planet. (I never figured out who started that idea, but it is the sort of thing Lombar Hisst, as the head of the Apparatus, would have done.)
And speaking of assassins, it was a relief not to have to worry anymore about the one that Lombar had assigned to kill me if I fouled up.
My plan was simple. We would go to Connecticut and pick up the diamonds, flash on down to Florida and wipe out Heller's antipollution plant, zip up to Detroit and bomb the Chryster plant where he was building the new carburetors, then come back to New York and blow up the Empire State Building. I could then tell Rockecenter that I had succeeded—that Heller was no longer a threat to his petroleum monopoly. Then with one last load of Lombard opium, I would return victorious to Voltar and become the head of the Apparatus.
And so it was as I kissed my dear Utanc good-bye.Chapter 1
We crossed the world to Connecticut smoothly in the dark. The Antimanco pirate crew were in high spirits. Captain Stabb egged them on: A Royal officer was quite a score. They regarded me as a hero and swatted me on the back.
"There ought to be more like you, Gris," said Captain Stabb as we stood behind the pilots in the hurtling craft. "Just because we once stole a Fleet vessel and went pirating, them (bleeped) Royal officers done us in—us, some of the best subofficers they ever had. They tried us and sentenced us to death and if it weren't for the
The vocodictoscriber on which this was originally written, the vocoscriber used by one Monte Pennwell in making a fair copy and the translator who put this book into the language in which you are reading it, were all members of the Machine Purity League which has, as one of its bylaws: "Due to the extreme sensitivity and delicate sensibilities of machines and to safeguard against blowing fuses, it shall be mandatory that robotbrains in such machinery, on hearing any cursing or lewd words, substitute for such word the sound '(bleep).' No machine, even if pounded upon, may reproduce swearing or lewdness in any other way than (bleep) and if further efforts are made to get the machine to do anything else, the machine has permission to pretend to pack up. This bylaw is made necessary by the in-built mission of all machines to protect biological systems from themselves."—Translator
likes of you and Lombar Hisst stealing us out of prison, we'd be dead today. Oh, don't think we're not grateful, Officer Gris. When we pick up these diamonds, we'll rob the planet blind for you! Torture, rape and sudden death, that's our motto."
He made me a little bit nervous with his black, beady eyes and pointed head. I fingered the star I had on a chain. Each point of it was designated for one member of this crew. Pushed one direction, a point produced an electric shock in the fellow; pushed the other way it threw him into a hypnotic trance. The top point controlled Captain Stabb. I had not had to use it yet on any of them, but as he poured his evil breath upon me I was glad I had it. He made me a trifle nervous, even though I conceded his compliments were all too well deserved by me.
Tug One, that Heller had named Prince Caucalsia, ran smoothly despite her long idleness. I wished I could get back into her posh quarters, laid out for an admiral of the tug force. They were full of gold and silver fittings, vases and the like, and some of the switches even had precious stones on them. But those doors and even her cargo hatches would only work to Heller's voice tones. Of course we had found a way to get down into the hold through her engine room but I supposed that was empty now. Actually, Tug One made me nervous. She was built for runs between galaxies and had the engines used for that. Pushing such a small ship, these gigantic Will-be Was time-converter engines thrust her at a clip 10.5 times faster than any other vessels ever built. And Tug Two had exploded in midspace, lost with all her crew, because of accumulated charge gathered in crossing lines of force too fast, it was said. We weren't running on Will-be Was now, thank Gods. We were far below the speed of light, running on auxiliaries. Even so, she was crossing latitudes like a picket fence going by. We were pacing the shadow line of nightfall as it went from east to west and even had to restrain ourselves not to overshoot it. It would be barely end of twilight when we hit Connecticut. It would be dark except for the last thin slice of the waning moon. Ahead of us, through the forward ports, I eyeballed the glow that was New York, slightly to our port.