Book 3/Page 107/Transcript
Excerpted from Comm Tower Mindstream
General to: All Tower personnel
Ruler: (order) Pursuit of enemy unit into interstitial passages remains dependent on your clearance. No dispensation for pursuit is granted at this time. Restack where necessary and assume posture of vigilance. (end order)
General to: All personnel with active clearance for ((Operation: Big Game))
Ruler: (order) All units, ((Operation: Big Game)) is now in effect. (end order)
Fetch: Specifications --> Comm Tower --> Level 40 --> Portal vault --> Anti-siege --> Armor --> Blast tolerance
Fetch: Specifications --> Comm Tower --> Level 40 --> Portal vault --> Anti-siege --> traps --> Shockmancy
Fetch: Specifications --> Comm Tower --> Level 40 --> Portal vault --> Anti-siege --> traps --> Goo
Fetch: Specifications --> Comm Tower --> Level 40 --> Portal vault --> Anti-siege --> traps --> Gas
Fetch: Specifications --> Comm Tower --> Level 40 --> Portal vault --> Anti-siege --> traps --> Explosive
Fetch: Specifications --> Comm Tower --> Level 40 --> Portal vault --> Anti-siege --> Armament --> Projectile
Returns: multiple, details to ruler
Fetch: Status --> Personnel disposition --> Comm Tower --> Level 40
RULER: (ORDER) Bonnie, keep the vault sealed and clear out the breakables down there. Especially the slots. (END ORDER) Action is looking probable at this point.
BONNIE: Is the target in the Magic Kingdom?
RULER: Not completely confirmed? Spotters think so. All his troops are moving toward our portal.
BONNIE: Okay. Set up tripods?
Fetch: Specifications --> Armament --> Projectile --> Tripod-mount CC-M3
Returns: full dossier to rulerHIGHLIGHT, SECTION IV, B, 11: Although this particular weapon is untested for firing through a portal, results from prior proof-of-concept tests suggest that a high effective lethality should be expected, despite the inability to target particular units. However, high collateral damage should also be expected. This tactic should therefore be considered a last resort, as killing free casters by these means would almost certainly be regarded not only as a violation of the Magic Kingdom's neutrality, but as actual war against it. This could result in irreparable harm to all future strategic operations.
TONDELAYO: Since there's a moment, what's your comfort level?
RULER: About a four right now.
TONDELAYO: That high?
RULER: I think it's happening.
TONDELAYO: It better be. Fifi's big fear was going down for nothing.
RULER: I know. We definitely screwed things up here. I knew we'd get hurt at the start, but I didn't imagine losing her and Belle.
TONDELAYO: We got them back.
RULER: Yeah. Decrypted Fifi would've been bad.
TONDELAYO: Have we stopped screwing up yet? What about the rogue unit?
RULER: (I'm a) little worried. Interstitial could be a problem. Her channels to home. I think she grammed home while I was offdish. She's got something with Wanda, too. But I can't spare the attention to jam her constantly.
TONDELAYO: Still don't recapture?
RULER: No. I mean she's worth the money but now we need her as hero bait. When he comes through the portal, that's 500,000 and we claim her as recompense. TONDELAYO: You think he will?
RULER: Yeah, he'll have to. Hero complex plus death wish.
TONDELAYO: If you say so.
RULER: I'm telling you. He hasn't really wanted to live since the volcano. I gave him an out, but he equates quitting with losing. And he doesn't want to go home, anyway. A hero's death is an acceptable endgame for him.
TONDELAYO: Let's give him one. He tried for you.
RULER: Yes. But I'm afraid (ORDER) Big Game rules stay in effect. Priority is capturing Parson. (END ORDER)
TONDELAYO: Yes, Charlie.
RULER: Don't look at me with that tone of thought. (ORDER) Secondary priority is killing him, but only if we can claim or destroy the body. (END ORDER)
TONDELAYO: (I) hope it's a close second.
RULER: Very close. Believe me, if it's the only way to get him, then we'll open up with the tripods and mow his whole group down.
TONDELAYO: Not your usual subtle approach. Any idea what that will cost?
RULER: 140 million or so.
TONDELAYO: That's…I'm speechless.
RULER: It's the loss in social capital that'll hurt more. If we did that, there'd be no more business as usual.
TONDELAYO: Because of the Magic Kingdom. RULER: Well, that and we'd also have to kill Stanley and take Spacerock. I'd certainly want my money back.
FETCH: STATUS --> TREASURY --> TOTAL VALUE
RETURNS: 166,509,971 SHMUCKERS
FETCH: STATUS --> GEM HOARD --> TOTAL VALUE
RETURNS: 530,454,000 SHMUCKERS