Mission Earth, Volume IV

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In the first three works in this series, Jettro Heller, that extraterrestrial paladin dispatched by the High Council of the Voltar Confederacy to save Earth from itself, led his nemesis Soltan Gris a merry chase--outwitting him at every turn and bringing Gris to the brink of total mental collapse. But, as Heller soon discovers, no good deed goes unpunished, and Gris is slowly but surely regaining the initiative. Admittedly, the cause of Heller’s downfall is not Gris himself or his various schemes, inasmuch as he continues to fall prey to one misadventure after another, but rather to the machinations of J. Walter Madison of Fatten, Farten, Burstein and Ooze, the largest advertising firm in the world.

Madison has been hired by the enigmatic and peripatetic Destuyvescent Depleister Bury of Swindle and Crouch, which in turn represents the interests of the uncrowned emperor of the world, Delbert John Rockecenter, to ruin Heller with a massive public relations campaign. As a result of Madison’s activities, Heller is estranged from his chief ally, Babe Corelone, and forced to vacate his quarters at the Gracious Palms--an elegant house of ill-repute servicing the United Nations.

To make matters worse, the Internal Revenue Service (who view everyone as guilty regardless of race, color, creed, or national origin--save those too wealthy to be bothered) is pursuing Heller, and the only advice he receives from his financial adviser, Izzy Epstein, is to flee to Brazil and take his chances with the army ants. As the fourth volume in the late L. Ron Hubbard’s “dekalog” comes to a close, Heller is definitely in a predicament, with no relief in sight.