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