Krak knows how to use an apartment intercom, but doesn't figure out that she's supposed to open the door right after it clicks after being remotely unlocked. She just shoves the foyer door open. 'kay. Gris meanwhile calls up Raht to confirm that Police Inspector Grafferty is on his way to deal with the situation personally - a single murder in New York City? He can "smell the headlines already."
Now, if you were paying very close attention (why?) to the chapter before last, you may have noticed that Gris stole Miss Simmons' glasses but didn't give them back at any point. So when she opens the door to admit the Countess she's basically blind as a bat. I'm not sure why this is important, because the woman has never seen Krak before, and if the Countess does what Gris thinks she will then Simmons wouldn't be able to identify her anyway. But whatever.
Simmons immediately starts ranting about an unnamed, despised male student of hers who she knows sabotaged the UN bill, indicating that nobody's told her that the guy who tipped her off about that fact was "A dirty, rotten, stinkin' FED!" Also, despite Simmons' hatred of this nameless male student, Krak either fails to make the connection to Heller or hears it as further proof that he and Simmons are madly in love. Then when the teacher mentions that the Tactical Police Force is after her, Krak is nice enough to offer Simmons some head protection - specifically a hypno-helmet, which she quickly drops on the teacher's head.
Krak guides the dazed Simmons into her bedroom and onto the bed. Miss Simmons' dressing gown falls open to give Gris a glimpse of the goods. Apparently she interrupted her change of clothes to let a visitor in for a chat without bothering to put on some sweatpants and a T-shirt. This is the ally Gris hoped would be able to destroy Heller once and for all, a woman who will invite a total stranger into her home, while blind and half-naked, so she can yell at them about how much she hates one of her students.
Krak adjusts Simmons' gown to preserve the other woman's modesty, gets the microphone you apparently need to properly hypnotize someone, takes off her cape and jacket, "the equivalent of rolling up her sleeves to get to work," and gets to work.
"What were those eight men going to do to you in Van Cortlandt Park?" said the Countess,
Asked! "Asked the Countess!" How do you spend a lifetime writing and not figure out that people don't usually "say" questions?!
I'm sorry, that just slipped out. I've been holding it in for a long time now.
leaning back in her chair.
Muffled, "Rape me. All eight of them. They were going to rape me hour after hour."
The Countess lowered her microphone and pushed it into her shoulder. "I thought so," she muttered in Voltarian.
Thanks for talking to yourself, by the way. Saves Gris the trouble of having to guess what you're thinking.
"A real rape-crazy slut. The whole thing has been just a pose to steal Jettero!"
By Countess Krak Logic, if I narrowly avoided getting hit by a car during a walk, it was really a suicide attempt on my part with the added aim of getting the Church of Scientology to waive my entrance fees and let me join. Or perhaps an expression of my unhealthy automobile fetish and a ploy to seduce the guy who drives the tow truck.
Next Krak asks about the first time Simmons saw Heller, the memory of which makes the other woman go rigid and quivering and let out a muffled scream because "He is too good-looking." Krak of course concludes that this is a case of love at first sight, and asks if there's anything else. Simmons admits that she was dismayed to learn that the handsome devil was "a nuclear physicist major and had to be stopped." Because...
Miss Simmons looked to be in torment. She shouted, "THERE MUST BE NO EXPLOSIONS!" Then in lower volume, muffled by the helmet, "My father held the chair of psychology at Brooklyn University. He said explosions were substitutions for sexual (bleepulations) and a girl must be frigid, frigid, frigid to protect herself." She was stiff, stretched out now like hard marble, totally rigid.
Wait, what? A psychologist is trying to indoctrinate someone against sex? Why?
Krak spoke into the mike, "When did he say that?"
"When he caught me putting firecrackers in the dog's (bleep)."
...You know, that's a pretty good time to put your foot down and call for an end to explosions.
So after that startling revelation, Krak reprograms Simmons to believe that she was really feeding her ass-sploded dog some milk, she does not get any pleasure from animal abuse, and that her father was "totally wrong. Accept it."
Simmons suddenly relaxed. She whispered, "I accept it. Oh, I am SO glad that was really what happened. Then my father must have been wrong about everything."
"Right," said the Countess Krak, villainously undoing in a breath what that poor, laboring psychologist father had devoted his whole life to build up. What a destructive Manco Devil that Krak was!
So Psychology uses hypnotism and other methods of indoctrination to program people to believe lies. Then a good guy, Krak, comes along and uses hypnotism to indoctrinate someone to believe otherwise. She takes advantage of a person's trust, gets them under her power, digs into their past, and then convinces them that everything they ever knew was a lie, using brute force to alter their behavior when they are at their most vulnerable. And this is okay because she's rescuing them from the falsehoods of psychology.
Hubbard is rubbish at satire, but pretty good at unintentional allegory. The only thing missing is that Krak didn't charge Simmons for any of this.
Krak gets back on topic, mentally taking Miss Simmons back to her first meeting with Heller and convincing her that what she really thought was that she wasn't good enough for Heller (because honestly, who is?). She moves on to the day of the near-rape, but is interrupted by a knock on the door, and so tells the hypnotized woman to lie quietly and ignore everything. She answers the door - I guess pretending no one is home isn't an option - to reveal "DOCTOR KUTZBRAIN!"
What an... amazing and unexpected twist. We last saw the guy back at the beginning of Book Three, I believe. The long-ignored Grafferty is making an appearance this book as well. Now we just need Jimmy "The Gutter" Tavilnasty to come back from the dead to complete the Blast from the Past trifecta.
Doc Kutz greets Countess Krak as "Lizzie Borden!" because when it comes to pop culture references, the older the better, and then pushes his way inside.
As soon as he was in, he said, "I just stopped by to tear off a little (bleep). I always visit my patients in times of stress, namely mine."
In a disgusted voice the Countess Krak said, "Really."
Kutzbrain was taking off his overcoat. He said, "Nothing like a little psychiatric therapy to cheer one up."
This psychologist seems fine with getting some. Could there be dissent within the ranks of the damned? Differing points of view and opinion, different methodologies, something that might take away our ability to make sweeping accusations against the profession, something that might undermine the author's presentation of them as a monolithic conspiracy that controls the world?
The Countess said, "Do you live with Miss Simmons?"
"Oh, no, no. I'm Doctor Kutzbrain, her psychiatrist at the University Hospital. But I'm impartial. I spread my professional skills around. I don't think you've been an inmate of my ward yet, Borden, but you're a real looker so I'll make sure you soon will be. So just lie down on that sofa and pull up your skirt and we'll get into the preliminary professional psychiatric examination. If it feels good enough, I can get you into the ward instantly. Those look like nice (bleeps) under your shirt. But they need a (bleep) erection test."
I always assumed when Hubbard was accusing psychologists of raping their patients, he meant while their victims were doped up on something. But I guess all they have to do is walk up to a random woman and say "hey, you're cute, I'm a psychologist, spread 'em." I've still got a lot to learn, I see.
Gris assumes that Krak's about to stomp Kutzbrain to death for propositioning her, which is fine with him because he wants Grafferty to find corpses. But instead Krak reaches into her plastic shopping back, pulls off a black roll of some perforated material, tears off a square, and tells the doctor to hold onto it. He does so, while Krak retrieves a dynamo with a plunger on it... why do an increasing number of alien devices use plungers to activate? Anyway, she hits it.
Doctor Kutzbrain stood straight up. He went utterly rigid. His face went blank. He was fixed in place like an awkward statue!
Oh, my Gods! One of the Eyes and Ears of Voltar devices she had filched from the Afyon hospital! I remembered it. It was a remote-controlled rig. When one had one of those black patches planted on him and the device was activated by the tiny dynamo, the person went rigid and blank and stayed that way as long as the dynamo ran, and when it was cut off the person returned to motion without being aware of the halt. According to the directions I had fleetingly seen, they used it to obtain evidence photographs in low-level light conditions. But she was simply using it to immobilize Doctor Kutzbrain.
Alright, I've got a few questions:
1. How the hell does this thing work? What is in the "black patch" that immobilizes someone, and why does it need to be physically on them to function?
2. Gris is able to recognize this, indicating that he examined the Eyes and Ears goods at some point and even flipped through some instruction books, but he left this amazingly useful device behind rather than thinking of a way to put it to use, perhaps as a way to immobilize Heller and Krak after sewing two of those patches into their clothes.
3. "Obtain evidence photographs?" That is the best use the devious minds at the Apparatus can find for something that immobilizes and incapacitates people without leaving any memory of the event? So what, they freeze someone and take pictures of them? And the freezing helps when it's dark somehow?
4. Why has nobody used one of these amazingly useful devices before?
Let's end this bloody chapter. Kutzbrain is now asleep on his feet, so Krak heads back to finish her job on Miss Simmons. Meanwhile Gris is gloating that the police are "howling on their way" to arrest her for... murders that she hasn't actually done yet. And she's in a situation where she can program the witnesses into defending her as a friend until the police leave, then kill them at her leisure.
Do you ever get the feeling that Gris doesn't quite think things through?
Back to Chapter Three