To recap last chapter: we learned exactly what Hubbard considered "a hint of sex," Gris was either raped or became a statutory rapist, Nurse Bildirjin revealed that she knows Dr. Prahd's Voltarian name, and I hit the Adult Content toggle for the blog because I really don't want to explain to some naive youth what exactly Bildirjin is using to improve her complexion.
Gris makes his way out of the hospital, and his post-orgasmic high proves short-lived when he gets annoyed at the number of Turks taking up beds that could be treating well-paying mobsters. Then he spots an old doctor he recognizes as Nurse Bildirjin's father, flinches, and dives into the nearest room before he's spotted.
The room is occupied by someone up to their eyeballs in bandages, someone who is making weak defensive gestures at the sight of Gris. A closer look reveals who it is.
I peered closer.
What in the name of Modon Demons was Raht doing here? Oh, I was furious!
Somewhere a Manco Devil is crying, forgotten. Also, isn't it strange that Gris will only swear by spirits from a certain planet after another character brings it up in the story? Almost as though the author were writing by the seat of his pants, making little to no effort to flesh out the setting even as he nears the end of the fourth book taking place in it. I certainly can't recall Gris ever mentioning planet Modon before last chapter revealed he had a coin from there lodged in his kidney.
Well, Gris breaks into an extended rant about how lazy and desperate for vacation his subordinate is, and how Raht should be in New York to switch on that 831 Relayer so Gris can keep tabs on a certain "Royal officer." The point is of course to reinforce Gris' disregard for the welfare of his minions. Of course this also makes him an idiot and an ineffective villain who can't recognize that not only are his tools almost broken, but that without them he'd have to climb the Empire State Building all by himself.
His tirade is loud enough to get Dr. Prahd to come in to shush him, since patients shouldn't be hearing Voltarian (hospital staff is evidently exempt to this rule). And even though Gris just ducked into this room to avoid meeting Nurse Bildirjin's dad, he has no reaction whatsoever to the man whose girlfriend he just (bleeped). Odd, that.
Prahd explains that Raht is almost dead from frostbite and pneumonia and older, unhealed injuries, and Gris wants to kick him out of the hospital and put him on a plane to New York. Raht heroically gets a sheet of paper and scribbles a note explaining he's in such poor shape because he switched on the Relayer. He also asks if Heller is really a Royal officer.
And this just makes Gris angrier now that "they were just trying to make me wrong." He reminds everyone that Heller's bosses could have them all arrested or killed, and storms out without forbidding Raht from finishing his treatment.
Wonder what are the odds that Raht will try to defect at some point, forcing Gris to kill him...
Back to Chapter Seven