Monday, February 6, 2012

Part Seventeen, Chapter Three - Voyeurism

Gris is startled by a knock on the door - more specifically, a knock on his room's "secret" door.  Faht Bey has delivered the latest communique from Raht and Terb, who happily report that they've traced Heller from the clothing store to a garbage scow to the bottom of the Atlantic.  The good news, though, is that his underlings' breathtaking incompetence inspires Gris to come up with a plan of action - he'll continue to spy on Heller until he learns the man's routine and where he keeps his stuff, then disguise himself as a Turkish diplomat and sneak into the Gracious Palms to steal that platen.

In other words, more chapters of HellerVision.  Gris watches Heller stare at a Gauguin depicting a Polynesian woman "wearing" red flowers.  "The boat people!" Heller breathes in Voltarian.  Sorry, oceangoing Oceanic natives.  You're another "Atalantan" race.

And then the pain begins in earnest.

Chief Madame Sesso, the mustached Boss Prostitute, bursts into Heller's room and spots the "kid" looking at dirty paintings.  "No!  Young-a boys should-a not-a look at-a dirty pictures!  You not a-goin' to do-a nasty things-a here!  If-a the young-a signore, he's-a want to look at-a naked women, he's-a goin' to-a do-a it right!"  So she gets on the inter-building phone and summons a young, luscious Polynesian woman.

Sesso orders the girl to "jump in-a his bed.  Quick quick!"  To save this impressionable "young man" from the perils of pornography, this upright Italian woman is here to throw a whore at him.

Catholicism is weird.

Heller stammers that he "just wanted to look" at the uncanny similarity between a Polynesian and the boat folk from his homeland.  Sesso's happy to oblige this voyeur and orders the girl - Minette - to give Heller a striptease.  There's some PG-13 stuff when Sesso starts the show manually and pulls at her underling's clothes until a breast pops out.  But don't worry, Minette is eager to please since business is slow right now and she's going mad with pent-up lust.

I didn't know the United Nations had an off-season.  You'd think the whorehouse would compensate by expanding its clientele, but I guess it's diplomats or nothing.  Also, it sure is convenient that all the working girls are nymphomaniacs, which saves us from all sorts of icky implications from an otherwise exploitative situation involving our hero. 

So Minette goes to fetch her grass skirt and flowers for her hair... that's kinda depressing... and gets ready to give Heller one helluva striptease, but only on the condition that afterwards he burst of static.  Yes, just when things are getting "good" some sudden interference - the first we've seen since the transmitters in Heller's skull left the super-stealthy hull of the Prince Caucalsia - pops up to censor the striptease and whatever happens afterward.  Guess Hubbard's trying to keep this series "classy." (note from the future: later developments conclusively disprove this theory)  And instead of simply fading out to the next chapter, he had to come up with an excuse to compensate for the "Gris as voyeur-narrator" angle he wrote himself into.

Thus, sudden unexplained technical issues.  Gris tries fiddling with the settings, and when that doesn't work he digs into the bugs' manual.  He finds a warning that the devices are "hypersensitive to the carbon atom and molecule wave configuration," specifically from "carbon spectrum emitters."  So obviously one of those totally real and scientific devices is in the Gracious Palms, and happened to flare up just when things were shifting to an R, or even NC-17 rating.  An uncanny coincidence.

Hopes of watching his hated enemy have sex with a prostitute dashed, Gris has some soup and goes to bed.  He wakes up in the wee hours of the morning, reacting to the sudden absence of static from the HellerVision.  Sure enough, the thing's working again, so Gris settles down to see if his nemesis got lucky or not.

One, this is kinda creepy.  Two, Gris, aren't you recording this?  Can't you get a full night's sleep, then get up in the morning to retroactively peep on the guy you're stalking?

Heller's in bed watching the news on his new TV, listening to reports of a sudden garage fire in Jersey and how many celebrities got mugged that day.  Then Gris spots someone's arm coming in from the left holding a fork, feeding Heller.  Then he spots two pairs of legs on Heller's right.

I made out one amongst the news overplay.  A middle-western accent.  ". . . and honey, let me tell you, he was very, very good!  I think he was the best . . ."

Then the other girl's murmur.  Was this Minette?  I turned the gain higher and changed the tone controls.  ". . . well, I really thought it was quite impossible to have that many orgasms in one . . ." An English accent!  These were two entirely different girls!

So the two pairs of feet didn't belong to some sort of mutant.  Thanks for clearing that up, Gris.

As the news shifts to a bunch of missing "revenooers," including one Oozopopolis, Heller turns toward a "high-yellow" girl sitting at a table across the room from him, clad only in a scarf.  She puts down a big bowl of Caesar salad, turns off the TV, explains that supper's over and stands up to more static.  More convenient static.

So Gris moans with frustration at being denied a good look at some boobies and goes to bed.  But this mysterious and anti-nudity interference aside, he's still committed to his plan.  Instead of sitting around helplessly watching Heller act, he'll sit around and watch Heller act, but with purpose!

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