What? Surely you remember - okay, he's the Chief of Provocation Section, the murdering rapist who Gris blackmailed with photos of the foul deed. That guy. He's come alone, save for the camera he's used to record Gris' latest crime, as well as Gris' visit to the head plumber, "cellologist," and Colonel Recently Deceased at the officers' club.
Talking isn't shooting. Keep him talking. "Then you were the one who blew up my airbus in the Bilke Mountains!"
Yes, the attack that you completely ignored after it was over, Gris. The attempt on your life that you showed no interest in, which you didn't investigate, which didn't convince you to extra careful in your recent adventures. That attack. The one that occurred in one chapter and had no effect on the plot whatsoever until right now.
Raza wants the originals and duplicates of Gris' blackmail photos, as if there were a reason Gris would be carrying them on his person at all times. Once Gris points this out, Raza reluctantly agrees to a truce so that Gris can tidy up this crime scene, thus covering both their backsides. Then they'll go back to the office and swap their respective incriminating photos.
So Gris goes through the trouble of retrieving the projectiles fired by his "blade gun," which involves a lot of blood and "electronic pliars" to pry out a shot that hit a doorjam. Then Gris carefully packs the bugs he intends to use, and less carefully grabs the contents of the cash register and a bunch of other goods in order to better simulate a robbery. Raza helps him carry stuff, as well as get Colonel Horrible Judge of Character's corpse into his car along with his driver. Gris sets up a blaststick so that a good jolt would set it off, and puts the car on autopliot towards Slum City, where it will either collide with traffic or crash somewhere. Then it's a simple matter of starting a fire in the store and heading home in the car Raza stole.
We got into the stolen car.
"I take it back," he said, putting the camera down. "You sure are thorough!"
"I sure am," I said, and I put ten inches of the Knife Section knife into his back.
Yeah, just like that. Questions abound: when did Gris draw the knife he kept sheathed under the back of his neck, and why didn't Raza notice it or react? How easily can you stab someone in the back when they're sitting in the car with you, especially if the blade's nearly a foot long?
Gris takes to the air and pushes Raza's corpse out somewhere over Provocation Section headquarters, heedless of any worries that doing so might start an investigation that ends with his head on a platter. He heads back to his office and opens up his stash of blackmail goodies under a floorboard and briefly considers getting the photos published in a newspaper, but decides to be careful and just burns everything - his photos, Raza's photos, his bloodsoaked clothes, etc. After that he writes a suicide note from Dr. Bittlestiffender and leaves his coat and ID next to a river, and then it's bedtime. All in all, a full day.
The moral of the story - make duplicates of your blackmail photos, put them in a safe place, set it up so some get published if anything happens to you, and then you go to the person you're blackmailing and tell them you've taken these precautions. Gris sure is lucky his would-be blackmailer confronted him at the scene of the crime while carrying all the evidence of said crime, and not the next time Gris dropped by his office, where there would be plenty of witnesses.
With that I guess we're done with the "Who's Watching Gris?" subplot... which only popped up at five distinct points in this story, and could be cut from it without affecting The Invaders Plan in any way. It certainly didn't lead to any character development or advance the main plot or anything. But I could say that about 70% of this stupid book.
Back to Chapter Five