austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Long before this life of mine

Buck Rogers Chapter 7, ``Primitive Urge'', opens with the discovery that Rogers, Deering, and Prince Tallen are not dead.

Instead of being crushed by their subway car smashing into the blast doors or whatever it was just derailed, suggesting some big failures in their blast-door demolition program. While futzing around getting out of the car Rogers and Deering knock Tallen's hypnotic-ray helmet off. He's shocked he denounced Rogers before the High Council and promises to make it right. They'll need his help.

Laska, one of Kane's men, konked a Saturnian guard and fit into his uniform to lead the recovery of Tallen, since anybody pretty much fits in anybody else's uniform in this kind of world. He sneaks back to the spaceship where Kane's men were tied up and frees them, ahead of Rogers and a Saturnia squad, and they take off, then ... circle around and come back because they've got to take off and land every episode. Also Laska guy there doesn't want to go back and admit Rogers beat them, so why not hang around and get beat again?

As the Saturnian High Council signs a treaty --- written on transparent plastic, by the way --- with Rogers, who stuns them by radioing Earth to report back instead of flying all the way home, Kane's men discover that they left one of their hypnotic-helmet-controlled human robots just hanging around and the Zuggs, Saturn's class of semi-human slaves, are hanging around muttering and watching the motionless ``robot''. Jumping to the conclusion that the Zuggs see him as a god for some reason, Kane's men --- and I have to credit them for initiative here --- figure they can take over the Zuggs and Saturn through their slave, and what do you know but it works?

I note that a messenger runs in, tells the Zuggs running the subway platform that the Zuggs are in revolt, and then rushes off. By the way, Saturn has obviously not learned the first lesson in how not to have slave rebellions.

Rogers, who delayed returning from Earth by a couple days to ``clean up'' some minor details, is caught in the High Council when the rebels pour in and demand control of Saturn, so, less than a day after the alliance is formed Saturn seems to have fallen to a squadron of a half-dozen of Kane's men. Before Laska can report to Earth, Rogers picks up the radio set, which is the size of a small podium, and tosses it at guards and that's our cliffhanger somehow.

Trivia: In the negotiations for peace to end the Crimean War the Russian diplomats asked to retain Bolgrad, as a center of the Bulgarian colony in Bessarabia, on the Danube. The only maps provided to the congress showed a different, less important, Bolgrad, not on the Danube, and the allies believed this to be the Bolgrad left to Russia. After Russia seized the Danubian Bolgrad the crisis built to a new congress devoted to the question of which Bolgrad was meant to be given Russia. Source: The Struggle For Mastery In Europe, 1848 - 1918, AJP Taylor. (And, while, shame on them for trying to trick, this has to rank up there with the Webster-Ashburton Treaty thing, assuming my source on that map mystery was reliable.)

Currently Reading: The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, The Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World, Edward Dolnick.


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