After saying "GOOD BYE GUNSALMO SILVA!" last chapter, Gris turns his attention to the hypno-helmet that failed to do his bidding. Not only does the one he tried to use on Silva again fail to activate, but when he tests the others he finds that every single helmet has inexplicably stopped working. Fearing for his "roseate dreams of controlling everybody on this planet with hypnotism," Gris takes the drastic measure of reading the fine print on the boxes of those Mutual-Proximity Breaker Switches.
Turns out Flip the Technician didn't consider the devices' range when he came up with the plan to shut off the helmets. According to the box the doodads have an effective range of two miles, so none of the helmets will work if he's anywhere nearby to use them. He gives up on working out a way to remotely trigger one and decides not to get the proximity switch taken out of his head because Nurse Bildirjin is insane. He doesn't even consider getting someone to undo Flip's work on the helmets, though if he had he'd probably freak out about them being able to be used against him again.
He consoles himself with the thought that the Countess Krak won't be able to use a helmet on him ever again, forgetting that he's only disabled the eighteen helmets he had modified, so he's still screwed if she decides to bring her own equipment. Gris also congratulates himself for taking care of Heller. See, since the Countess Krak is coming here, he assumes that Heller's about to "get his brains bashed in."
Yes, Countess Krak - the psychotic Apparatus training lady that Gris is not only terrified of, but has no way of controlling, the woman who plans to wed Jettero Heller when all this Mission Earth crap is over, a person who despises Gris and views him as a threat - this Countess Krak is going to be the instrument of Heller's demise, based purely on Gris' understanding of jealousy and female behavior. She's going to learn he's been rooming in a whorehouse and immediately murder him.
Even though this is stupid even for him, Gris is so pleased with these "accomplishments" that he's considering a nap, or maybe a hunting trip.
On reflection, Part Twenty-Four was about hypno-helmets that don't work and an assassin who was never a threat to begin with, so aside from the foreshadowing that Utanc is a Soviet agent or something I'd have to put the last thirty pages down as a complete waste of time. It takes Gris sections like these to make the reader look forward to the stuff with Heller.
Back to Part Twenty-Four, Chapter Four