Thursday, January 24, 2013

Part Forty-Five, Chapter Four - Communications Technology of the Year 2000, Part Two

Well, I guess Miss Agnes' first act of revenge was to try and kill Rockecenter's wife and maybe-son.  I say try because, well, we'll get to that in a bit.

Bang-Bang is "snarling and swearing to himself" after being, y'know, raped, and he struggles with the land yacht's controls as he drives the behemoth away from his attacker.  Krak acts as his spotter, reading out road signs, and the first time she mentions a parking area Bang-Bang immediately pulls into it and uses the motor home's - get this - mobile telephone!  The cabbie/mob demolitionist places a long distance, person-to-person call to "Pretty Boy Floyd"'s hotel room and starts panicking into the line about how he thinks they've just stolen a million dollar land yacht.  Then he hands the phone over to the Countess.

She took the headset.  She said, "How are you dear?  Did you have a nice trip?"

Heller's voice, "What are you up to?"

"Do you have a nice room?  I hope there were no alligators in it."

Heller said, "Quit it!  It's all okay here.  What are you up to?"

In a very sweet voice, she said, "Well, it's all okay here, too."

"Listen," said Heller, "What are you doing with a million dollar land yacht?

Good bloody question.  Looking back, the logic seems to have been "Oooooo!  I want that!" and then she basically stole it with her mind control helmet.  This was a compulsive act of theft and mind-rapeage that doesn't fit into a particular plan or anything.  Krak saw something shiny and took it.

Where are you going?"

She said, "It's lonesome without you, dear."

"WHERE are you headed for?" said Heller.

"You really want to know, don't you, dear?"


"Well, I'm not going to tell you straight out. The domestic police monitor calls, you know."

I'd like to be able to make a crack like "still a healthier relationship than Twilight," but to be honest?  Couldn't make any headway into the thing, gave up after maybe three chapters.  I don't remember even getting to the sparkly vampires, so I can't rightly make the comparison.  Though I can insult the series by all implying/stating that I find L. Ron Hubbard more readable than Stephenie Meyer.

Krak finally relents and hints about a "stone wall," and despite Heller's protests she insists that she has to speed the mission along.  Heller caves but asks for a favor -

"Whatever you say, dear.  You know I never do anything you don't want me to do."

- and asks that Krak give him four days to finish what he's doing and meet up with her before diving in.  Then he asks to speak to Bang-Bang again, gets the number for the land yacht's incredible mobile phone, and passes on some secret instruction that Bang-Bang doesn't immediately share with Krak or the audience.

Gris starts gloating about how Heller is playing right into his hands, and now he'll have four days to pick off Krak while she sits in a huge obvious target, etc., but then Bang-Bang makes a call to a garage to get the cab picked up.  What starts with a ferry fee grows into a rebuilt engine and new leather seating for the cab, topped off a cook and driver and cleaning lady and mechanic for the land yacht, with new uniforms, and a smaller mobile home to live in while they follow the sandcrawler around.  All of this on Gris' credit card.

I was almost fainting!  He had just run up what might become an eighty-thousand dollar bill!  With all Krak's other purchases, Mudur Zengin might begin to run out of money and cost me my half-million deposit certificate!

And there's not much to say that isn't an expletive.  After wasting most of the last book with the subplot about Gris' bank account, Hubbard wants to resurrect that oh-so-compelling story.  The bloody stupid land yacht is an excuse for us to talk about deposit certificates and credit cards some more.

Does Twilight get bogged down in idiotic subplots?  Like does whossername spend half of Eclipse fretting about her science fair project, or a cousin who wants to be a rodeo clown?

Krak asks what Heller told Bang-Bang, and the bomber says it was an order to keep her safe, then talks about how she'll be able to walk around enjoying the wildflowers while they wait for Heller.  "You'll love it out in the open."  Then Krak tries to turn on the land yacht's lights, and Gris' viewscreen shorts out.

Interference!  It must be coming from the generator's carbon brushes!  It might be suppressed for Earth-type radio but it certainly jammed the wavelength and type that I was operating on!

Yeah.  This again, the mysterious "interference" that kicks in when the plot requires and is based on a hack author's deeply misinformed grasp of physics.  A generator's "carbon brushes" are evidently emitting radio waves.

Gris consoles himself that he knows where Krak is going, to visit Stonewall Biggs, County Clerk of Hamden Country, Virginia, introduced way the hell back in Book Two.  He also knows the terrain well enough (somehow) to understand that there's only one main road to get them there.  To further stack the odds, he calls the telephone company and gives the land yacht's mobile phone number for them to disconnect, claiming that the thing's in vacation mode and doesn't need to be on.  So Krak and Bang-Bang are currently parked at the start of a set route, incommunicado, and Heller will take four days to meet up with them.  How could he not manage to get them killed?

The chapter ends with Gris preparing to go back to another obnoxious subplot, his "evening stint" deprogramming lesbians with the power of his dong.  So the final tally is two terrible subplots, the return of a contemptible plot device, a plan to visit Chekhov's Gunman, and more evidence of the deeply dysfunctional relationship between the romantic leads. 

Busy chapter.

Back to Chapter Three

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