Neil's outward aspect of robot-like objectivity was massively insincere a=
a part of his carefully managed program of manipulating his environment,
including his superiors ... and their superiors.
The most outrageously phony bit of "objective" decision-making was his
manipulation of Laura into his Directorate. Hell, I might have fallen in=
love with the brilliant, talented, and staggeringly beautiful girl myself=
But, as a long-time business executive, I know that the MOST inappropriat=
reaction to romantic designs on a co-worker is to make her your subordina=
as an excuse to scrape acquaintance. Any emotionally mature and truly
decisive man would have insisted that she be placed in the Intelligence
Directorate (where she belonged and wished to be anyway) and then said "A=
you free for lunch today?" and pursued the conventional, delightful
courtship rituals of our culture. "Golly, that was fun! If you liked th=
place, you should join me for dinner Friday at this other one." or "I
didn't realize you were such an art fan. While you were down at the
school, you probably didn't have a chance to see the new special exhibit =
the Tate. I'd love to take you one day this weekend and maybe have a bit=
afterward." or "Competitive tennis, eh? I'm a little rusty and you'll
probably slaughter me but I'll try to give you a few sets at a friend's
club just across the bridge from the office one day after work." It's
really awfully easy to do right.
A less tragic and more succinct example was when Neil manipulated the
Special Section's assignments in a blatant attempt to give himself the
opportunity to assassinate an old enemy.