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Chapter 8 - part 1

The final book in Lewis' theological science fiction Space Trilogy.

Chapter 8 - part 1

Postby Kanakaberaka » 24 May 2010, 14:06

Overview of Chapter 8, Moonlight at Belbury :

1 - Fairy Hardcastle goes to face Belbury's Head.

2 - Jane settles into St. Anne's.

3 - Mark prepares to meet the Head.

Synopsis of part one : Wither explains in his usual round about manner to Fairy Hardcastle that "the Head" demands to see her about her malfeasance in the capture and loss of Jane Studdock. For the first time in this story, Hardcastle expresses fear and demands a drink before going in to speak with Belbury's real leader. Filostrato prepares her for the meeting as he takes care of the technical details for the Head's life support.
so it goes...
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Chapter 8 - part 1

Postby Kanakaberaka » 24 May 2010, 14:47

Fairy Hardcastle has remained in charge throughout this story, up untill now. She does not allow Wither to intimidate her with his "elasticity" jargon as he berates her on her failure. She blames her police car for stalling out rather than her own incompetence in putting her sadistic pleasure before the N.I.C.E.'s business. She demands a strong drink before going in to see this abomination. "Liquid Courage" appears to be her only hope before Belbury's true leader. This makes me wonder what it is about a severed head on life support which causes the inner circle at Belbury to fall on their knees. Obviously they must recieve some sort of valuable advice not available from any mere human. This demonic knowlege is what animates Belbury.

It reminds me of G.K. Chesterton's explanation for why ancient heathens worshiped demons. He likened their situation to hiring out a contemporary detective. It's a dirty business, Chesterton explained, but a detective gets the job done. The same must have been true for now discredited demons. Their worshipers must have recieved some sort of satisfaction for their blood sacrifices, even if was only a sense of unity for their tribe or cause. If a person as arrogant as Miss Hardcastle can be intimidated by such a being, there must be a serious, demonstrable reason for her to do so. The Fairy is not superstitous.
so it goes...
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Chapter 8 - part 1

Postby Kanakaberaka » 24 May 2010, 15:13

Lewis has deliberately chosen incompetant villains for his farce. Otherwise Fairy Hardcastle would not have allowed her own pleasure to interfere with her work. Still, I wonder what might have happened if the Fairy had used some finesse when Jane Studdock fell into her hands. Suppose that instead of arresting Jane and using "enhanced" interrogation on her, Hardcastle had comforted her with a hot cup of tea and promised to reunite her with her husband Mark at Belbury. She could have told Jane that Mark was worried sick about her, and wanted her safe by her side, away from the riot in Edgestow. By feigning the role of a saviour, Hardcastle might have been able to fool Jane just long enough to get her over to Belbury. Mark could even be an unwitting accomplice by simply sharing his room with her at Belbury. It's possible that after falling in love with Mark again, Jane could be convinced that "the gang" at St. Anne's are a bunch of fanatics, at least long enough to give away Mr. Fisher-King's location. The Director insisted that Jane should obey her husband. Suppose Mark demanded she join him in his cause with the N.I.C.E. ? It could have turned the Director's wishes against himself.

Or maybe not. Jane has certainly been "taken in" by the company at St. Anne's. So I doubt that she would be fooled by empty promises given by Fairy Hardcastle. Still, it would have been more realistic for someone in Hardcastle's position to attempt deception rather than intimidation against Jane.
so it goes...
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Re: Chapter 8 - part 1

Postby Matthew Whaley » 29 May 2010, 01:22

The incompetent employees that the NICE seems to be have an abundance of reminds me of Hitler's Brownshirts; many of them made up of out of work veterans of the recent war. They were very coarse and unrefined compared to SS stormtroopers who later replaced them. Perhaps the NICE, after it establishes itself, will be able to purge the er, ah, undesirable elements from its workforce in a similar manner. No one is indispensable.
"Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in." -Robert Frost
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N.I.C.E. motto

Postby Kanakaberaka » 29 May 2010, 04:50

Matthew Whaley wrote:... No one is indispensable.


That certainly appears to be the philosophy of the real head of the N.I.C.E., as Wither, Frost, Hardcastle and all the rest learn firsthand.
so it goes...
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