Unabridged version here.
On day four, Gris happens to check Krak's viewscreen at some point and finds that the interference is off, allowing him to overhear Bang-Bang saying how he managed to find a mysterious "him" hiding out in a private hospital at Redneck (hur), Virginia. Bang-Bang helpfully explains that it's only thirty-five miles west of their location, allowing Gris to check a map and trace backwards. Somehow Krak managed to slip south of Gris, but since Redneck's only twenty miles away from where he is, surely he'll be able to beat Krak there and set up the perfect ambush. Well I say "he," but Gris' plan is of course to sit in his motel room while Torpedo runs out to do the dirty work. The only way things could go wrong would be if a distraction knocked on the motel room door.
Immediately, a distraction knocks on the motel room door, revealing itself to be a motorcycle cop here to complain about how their car was parked. Torpedo's reaction is to grab the cop when the officer turns his back to point out the vehicle in question, and while muffling any screams with a hand over the man's mouth, stabs him in the back. Gris speculates that Torpedo's knife cut the cop's heart in half, from behind. I could argue over the mechanics of this, but I won't.
So Torpedo has just delayed his appointment with Krak's demise by murdering a nonhostile police officer, forcing him and Gris to deal with the fallout of that crime. The only way things could get worse would be if Torpedo flipped the body over and took off its pants.
Torpedo flips the body over and takes off its pants.
Gris cries at his henchman to stop, complaining that his real target is just south of here on a set course, but Torpedo pulls a gun and insists on... finishing. Gris doesn't mention diverting his eyes, nor does he attempt to run out, either to excuse himself from Torpedo's activities, or - and this is a stretch - try and take care of Krak himself. Presumably Torpedo would shoot him for trying to leave?
Torpedo laughs about "(bleeping) a screw!" and runs off to make the kill, since he boasts that his previous diversion only whetted his appetite. This leaves Gris in a room with a dead, defiled police officer. He pulls up the corpse's pants and drags it to the bottom of some stairs - actually, got that backwards, he drags it outside and down the stairs, then fixes the pants. Then Gris goes back to the crime scene and cleans up, "eradicating" any bloodstains with... I dunno, toilet paper? A magical alien cleaning agent that dissolves all types of blood, even those from lifeforms on different planets? Febreeze? The author doesn't say.
Gris is basically stuck since Torpedo took the car and he's unwilling to leave his luggage behind, so he resolves the situation by calling in on the cop cycle's radio to report the murder, using his federal credentials ("This is Inkswitch. I'm a Fed."). When other police forces show up he blames the murder on a black man ("We knew it!" said their chief) and they tear off, returning an hour later to dispose of the body. That distraction handled, Gris gets back to what he does best: watching on a viewscreen while the good guys make progress.
Now, something I'd like to point out. L. Ron Hubbard wrote this book. He also founded what he insisted was a religion. To my knowledge, Jesus did not write stories about someone raping women until they liked men again as a side project while traveling around and preaching. Neither am I aware of the Buddha writing an epic tale in which the protagonist unwittingly commits genocide on at least one race, only to be assured that his victims were all better off dead even after previous cases proved they were redeemable. And for all the controversy surrounding Muhammad (peace be upon him), I don't think he told stories featuring a necrophiliac assassin.
Just something to think about.
Back to Part Forty-Five, Chapter Six