Sunday, 9 October 2016
Citizen Ammon II
Poul Anderson, A Circus Of Hells IN Anderson, Young Flandry (New York, 2010), pp. 193-365, Chapter Two, pp. 203-212.
I have discussed this chapter before but this time I want to focus on Leon Ammon. Soon after the setting of the red-orange sun of the planet Irumclaw, Dominic Flandry saunters from the naval compound to Old Town through the "...wreckage at the edge of the receding tide of empire..." (p. 204) and feels that he lives in the "...twilight of empire." (p. 209)
a sun that is sunset-colored even before it sets;
This and more details set the scene for Flandry's first meeting with local vice boss, Ammon. Outside one of many joyhouses, an Irumclagian, chanting in Anglic through a vocalizer, advertizes:
exotic games with high or low stakes;
"'Continuous sophisticated entertainment...'" (p. 205);
sex with seventeen intelligent species, including "'...racial, mutational and biosculp variations.'" (p. 206)
Something for everyone! Flandry goes in - but he is there on business. A large, gaudily uniformed, obsidian-eyed, male human being answers to "'...Lem?'" (ibid.) and instructs Flandry to take the grav shaft to the top, sixth, floor, approach Door 666, wait till it opens and ascend stairs. (Quiz question: name two time travel works by Anderson that have grav shafts.) Speaking to Lem, Flandry names the man who is expecting him but is told not to use names.
door sealing itself behind Flandry;
an animation of a rose garden on one wall;
shabby old furnishings and garish new ones;
a statue-like, musk-scented Gorzunian mercenary in one corner;
behind the desk, a grossly fat, hairless, sweating man in a fine scarlet tunic and with a high, scratchy voice, not introducing himself by name but telling Flandry to sit and offering cigar and brandy.
Now young Flandry is locked in a room above a joyhouse with a man who must not be named and a mercenary capable of tearing him to pieces.