Playing Second Fiddle
Strictly speaking it is not clear if No.12 can be classed as an aide to No.2 or not. Certainly he spends a good deal of time in the company of No.2, and at others carries out No.2 instructions.
What is certain is that No.12 holds a high position within Administration, as he has his own office, but describes himself as "A cog in the machine," but only for No.6's benefit surely. He also has a seat on the education board. Yet he does on occasion obey No.2's instructions, so at least for the duration of Speedlearn I think we can say that No.12 is acting as assistant to No.2.
His first approach to No.6 is an ambiguous attempt to stimulate No.6's interest in both Speedlearn and the General. And in this regard No.12 will ultimately become a traitor, seeking to destroy with the aid of No.6. Because presumably holding a position in administration helps No.12 gain access to the file on No.6, and by this he was able to study the man, and make sure he was the man he is after before his initial approach.
No.12 is a man of high principles, he knows the real meaning behind Speedlearn, he knows it's weakness "I said what, not when!" That Speedlearn is another form of highly sophisticated brainwashing. Yet is comfortable with explaining Speedlearn to his fellow board members, which includes No.2. So as members of the board, this puts No.12 on an equal footing with No.2, surely.
He is ideally situated in administration to obtain for No.6 the uniform of a 'Top Hat' official as well as the pair of security pass discs. And for the act of sabotage, not to mention the micro lecture hidden inside the ball point pen.
But for all No.12's acts of conspiracy, sabotage, and thoughts against the Professor. No.12 still finds the courage to sacrifice his life trying to save the Professor, and in doing so becomes a martyr on the conscience of the village.
It Could Be Imprisonment – It Could Be A Fine
So No.6 opted for the fine! this happens during evening of the Madi-Gras, when the good citizens of the community are celebrating the joys of Speedlearn. An act of sabotage in '6 private' causes the lights to go out! The blame of course is put on No.6 by administrator-No.12. "Deliberate destruction of official property is a most serious offence. I recommend the full penalty." "Which Is?" No.6 asks. "It could be imprisonment, it could be a fine" No.14 snaps back in reply.
Well let us pause and consider for a moment. What kind of imprisonment could be implemented in the village? House arrest perhaps, not being able to go outside, which could also be seen as solitary confinement. And the fine, how much might that be? However much the fine, it would be worthless and therefore quite meaningless as a punishment! Well the village monetary system is worthless isn't it? You will recall how No.6 was fined for speeding. He was driving at great speed, for which the Prisoner was fined 20 units by the High Court Judge. But No.6 pleaded with the Judge that he couldn't pay! "20 units" the Judge shouted "Nothing!"
So the fine was nothing, and even if it was....... And as for imprionment, being put under possible 'house arrest' or solitary confinement would be no hardship for No.6, I'm sure he would look forward to it. After all it wouldn’t it be for too long. Besides didn't No.6 keep much to himself in A Change of Mind, and possibly for some little time before then. After all No.6 did tell those two thugs, who set upon him in the woods at his private gymnasium, that he preferred privacy.
Some full punishment it was, that No.12 was recommending....my foot!
Be seeing you