Sunday February 10, 2013
Book 14: Broken Wind — Part I: Breath and Business


PARA: What's going to happen to me?

PETEY: An excellent question, Ms. Ventura.

NARRATOR: Parnassus Dom, the outed, de-fanged Int-Aff-Int agent Para "Usar" Ventura...

PETEY: Traditionally, enemy spies are executed, exchanged for other spies, or traded for political capital.  But I don't do executions, and you aren't worth much in trade.

PARA: I'm sure U.N.S. Int-Aff-Int would give you something for me.

PETEY: They won't grant me an alliance, and I already have access to more information than they would knowingly offer.

PARA: Then you know I'm no threat.  I'm not an enemy, either.  Just send me home.

PETEY: Ah, home!  That place that no place is like.  The place where your heart is, and your hat hangs.

PETEY: Let's talk about "home" for a moment.

PETEY: I took the liberty of scanning you rather thoroughly.  I found a shaped charge making up most of your fourth cervical vertebra.

PETEY: I removed it and placed it in a net-accessible chamber.  After fourteen minutes and twenty seconds a hypernet packet arrived and the charge exploded.

PETEY: Conclusion: they hope you're dead.  If I send you home they'll be disappointed, and then they'll mindrip you in a vain attempt to ascertain which of their precious not-so-secrets you spilled while in my care.

PARA: Wait... which secrets did I spill?

PETEY: "Vain attempt," I said.