This chapter is pretty much the same as when it was written a decade ago. That will not be the case for ones following it. Part of my revision effort centered on making the novel flow better. A lot of this early part of the novel went deep into the backstory of Section Starfire, the Anti-Cerebrists, and Gunter Thulewaite. While interested in that stuff back in the 00's I'm thinking it's better to just keep the story moving now.
It's a tough balance though. The difference between a successful novel and one that drags (in my opinion) is how to strike the proper balance between significance and momentum. Time spent on interesting details relating to characters and setting helps reader invest in the story. Without that grounding, a novel can quickly become a succession of disjointed events. It's what my brother Justin referred to as the "this then this then this," problem.
However, if there is too much of that, a longer work loses energy and begins to sag into long block of exposition. At its heart, "Agent Shield and Spaceman" is meant to be fun. Long blocks of exposition, to me, feels not that.
Is there a director's cut where some of that extra information could go back in? Maybe. I think I'll try to get the whole novel out there first before I worry about it.