Heller's there to see some sort of plan come to fruition, a plan he modestly credits to Vantagio, though it's the girls who have done most of the, ah, work, lobbying the UN delegates who visit the Gracious Palms to vote a certain way. And if they vote the wrong way, the girls will, as Minette puts it, "knock zem up!" Or, as Margie puts it better, put the delegates under "sanctions" the next time they visit the whorehouse.
So Heller and the girls go in, and there's an argument over which lucky lady gets to sit in Heller's lap that's only defused when there turns out to be enough seats for everybody, and Gris immediately starts worrying about what Heller's started and what "bill" is going to be voted on: "To bomb the Voltar base? To declare Soltan Gris an international criminal?" The girls and Heller take their seats in the viewing gallery, the delegates come in and give their favorite hookers furtive little waves, and then the voting begins. And with 146 states in favor and 26 abstentions, a new resolution is passed:
UN Resolution 678-546-452
Hereas and wherewith, it is the wish and will of this, the General Assembly of the United Nations, by all sovereign powers attended, as follows, to wit:
RESOLVED: WOMEN HAVE THE RIGHT NOT TO BE THERMONUCLEAR BOMBED AND NOT TO BE FORCED TO SHUT UP BY SLAPPING OR TORTURE.
And I guess this really is a comedy if something so farcical can come out of the UN. So what, nuclear war is illegal unless you evacuate all the womenfolk from the bombs' targets? Torture is okay if it's not being done to shut up a woman? What if you slap a woman when they aren't talking, so you're not technically making any effort to shut them up? Is it okay to slap a man to shut him up? Or torture him?
But the crowd goes wild, and the women cheer, and they go out in front of the Statue of Peace and link hands in a circle around Heller and dance around him, and I'm not kidding about the dancing in a circle around Heller, it's right there on page 318. Heller deflects their praise and reminds them that the Security Council still has to accept the measure for it to become "the law of the world" (insert laugh track), and refuses to come with them back to the Gracious Palms. Not only that, but he forbids them from even mentioning that they say him. So you can't slap a ho around, but you can still give bitches orders.
When the girls get back to their whorin', Heller talks to a seagull. Again, I'm serious.
A seagull was walking near to him. "Well, seagull," he said to it, "with any luck the Security Council will pass it and then you will be safe, too. And Miss Simmons will have to realize that I am on her side."
Because really, who would dare defy a divided and ineffectual attempt at global governance that relies on volunteer forces to enforce its laws - assuming delegates, to say nothing of the Security Council, can actually agree that they need to be enforced?
On a less sarcastic note, if the UN in this world is actually powerful, why has it been virtually ignored by Rockecenter and his cabal? Why hasn't the Apparatus tried to get its claws into it?
Anyway, all this has got Gris shaking in his boots. If Miss Simmons, the unhinged man-hating apocalyptic hippy woman, suddenly suffers a total personality change as a result of this international legislation, she might help Heller finish college! Plus, Heller just displayed his "raw, naked power" by getting all those women to pressure UN delegates to vote his way! And somehow Heller is also "monopolizing" all the world's females and leaving none for Gris! How can Gris possibly stop an unstoppable juggernaut who he was pretty sure had been stopped a few Parts ago?
The answer comes immediately when Faht Bey buzzes to say the Blixo will be landing that evening.
Beautiful relief flooded through me. The Blixo! Of course! With brilliant forethought, I had already solved the very problem I was now faced with!
With luck, the Countess Krak would be on that ship. She'd slaughter Heller for even glancing at another woman! She'd slow him down to a crawl as she had on Voltar!
Oh, good. More slow.
I laughed with delirious delight.
I had it all solved!
Smart brains. My Apparatus professors were oh so very right. I had smart brains!
Notice that Gris' thought process is "with luck, the woman I ordered to take this ship will have taken this ship," rather than "with luck, this woman I can't control and am in fact terrified of will do exactly what I think she'll do without any effort on my part."
Back to Chapter Four