Chapter 5, Part 3: Stupid Guy
The meeting with Ball Dangler took place on Friday night. Then Dangler and the NPO apparently give Paul the entire weekend to get used to the time change, since they don’t call upon him again until Monday, for a full-day briefing. I guess it makes sense for a weekend break during the hunt for an international terrorist who has murdered hundreds of people and destroyed national monuments.
Anyway, Paul gets back to his hotel room in Bern on Monday night, and orders room service. And the room service “deliveryman” turns out to be the jerk driver who brought Paul in from the airport, and who was subsequently fired for his jerkitude.
Paul decides that the guy must be there to kill him, and that he must, therefore, only understand the language of violence…so he launches himself at the poor schmuck, pins him to the ground, searches him, and finds a handgun.
But the schmuck attempts to explain himself:
“He is risen.”
Yep, the jerk driver was a Sekrit RTC all along!
To give Paul credit (and yes, I hate writing those words), he is immediately suspicious of the jerk driver (his name is Gregor), and his first thought is that the whole thing is a setup from the NPO.
Paul set his jaw. He could respond, test the waters. If he was wrong he’d know soon enough and could still kill the man. “He is risen indeed.”
Or, yanno, Paul, you could claim that you were just reeling the guy in so you could squeeze more information out of him. Seriously, Paul is constantly worried that he will expose himself (ew), when any and all talking with Christians about Christianity could be easily explained by the fact that he is AN UNDERCOVER AGENT WHO IS AN “EXPERT” (SIC) IN RELIGION.
Paul is such a numbskull.
Gregor has a nice, stupid explanation for this whole scheme:
“My contact is Abraham from the Detroit underground. Your man, Straight, is on a need-to-know basis about us [the Bern underground]. By the time you next talk to him, he will have been informed.”
That makes no sense at all. And the fact that Paul agrees with me on this does not make me happy.
Also, I’m sure Straight will be delighted to hear that Abraham was keeping secrets from him.
Eh, I guess it’s no big thing for Straight, what with the American underground being notorious for using code names in private when everyone knows everyone already.
Gregor points out to Paul that his gun is empty. So Gregor was wandering around the hotel, disguised as an employee, with an empty gun. That makes tons of sense, too.
Gregor’s entire purpose in this sneak-into-hotel-room gambit is to “encourage and help” Paul, and to meet up with him again in Rome and “save [Paul] a lot of time.”
And with that, Gregor peaces out, leaving Paul with bad dreams:
Paul’s dreams were filled with underground meetings gone awry, room-service waiters with high-powered weapons meeting him at every turn. There had been times when he was younger when he worried that such dreams revealed his true cowardice. Yet he had always functioned at the peak of his abilities. Maybe his weakness when unconscious made him concentrate more when he was awake. A man could hope.
I see Paul’s obsession with being the manliest man in the history of manliness continues apace.
Also, good to know that we’ve seen Paul operating at peak form all this time. *snicker* You would think Paul and Gregor would get along better than they do.