Friday, March 15, 2013

Part Fifty, Chapter Three - Hope Nobody Was Taking a Nighttime Walk at the Marina

In case it isn't clear yet that Hubbard's vision of his near-future, our present-past was a little inaccurate, in this chapter we get proof that nobody in this world has ever played a video game.

Gris watches Heller for two straight hours, with nothing to see but a few bubbles or watery views of the harbor.  Our hero evidently grabbed a wet suit, so fear not, he should be comfortable instead of all pruney from his extended swim.  Gris keeps calling the harbormaster with helpful information about there still being a fugitive in the harbor, and the guards continue sweeping the water with searchlights.

Heller gradually approaches Krak's yacht, so Gris calls again to warn that the enemy is approaching the starboard side of the Golden Sunset, a patrol boat moves into position, and Heller ducks underwater for a few minute.  Rinse and repeat once.

Gris is kinda dumb, by the way.

A water-washed glimpse of the patrol boat showed.  It was coming straight at him!

Blackness.  One minute, two minutes, three minutes.  I was holding my breath.  Four minutes, five minutes . . . What the Hells was going on?

Dizzy and lightheaded from not breathing, I shook my head to clear it.  My viewer was just staying black!

Scuba gear!  He must be using scuba, taken from the 81!  Yes, there was the hollow, rhythmical sound I had ignored.

Yeah.  He's holding his breath in excitement until he almost passes out, and was disregarding the sound of a breathing apparatus the whole time - a sound he of course never bothered to tell us about.  I guess this way it's an exciting surprise that Heller had an air tank along with his wetsuit?  Unless the reader read "wetsuit" and automatically assumed he had scuba gear to go with it.

Sure is lucky Heller got scuba training at some point, too.  Or that these advanced aliens' space navies train their commandos with similar equipment.

Gris eventually gets the bright idea to crank up the "viewer gain" so that he can make out where Heller is (of course Heller isn't having any trouble seeing).  He finds Heller looking at a floating fuel platform, calls the harbormaster, and concludes that Heller's under the dock right next to the fuel depot.  The harbormaster realizes that this means the foe is right under his office, tells his men that the "God (bleeped) Fed on the phone" knows where the enemy is, and orders them to start firing into the water underneath them.

Shooting blindly, near fuel containers.  I could end the post right here and you'd know what happens next.


The funky thud and moan a bullet makes when going under water! Another shot. Another!

The churn of the launch engine.

A view!

It was from mid-channel, looking back at the dock.


Flame geysering into the sky!

Concussion in the water!

The whole office went in slow motion up into the sky, turned over, and fell apart in flaming chunks.

Thrill as the hero sits and watches as his enemies destroy themselves!

So the dockmaster and his office get blown to smitheroons, followed by a patrol boat ("BEROOM!") and then the entire fuel depot ("BEROOOOOOOOOOOOM!").  Once the debris stops falling from the sky and the secondary explosions are finished, Heller surveys the carnage.

"Well, it wasn't just underwater detection gear, anyway," muttered Heller.  Then his eye fastened on a distant floating body.  He said, "I'm sorry, you guys.  May your Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on your souls."  He sounded very sad.

Wonder if he could've gotten Izzy to give Krak a call once he found out where she went?  Maybe skipped all this boating nonsense and needless, stupid death?

So Gris curses that he no longer has anyone to call, but tries to stay optimistic that maybe the guards on the yacht itself will catch Heller.  He did hear through Heller's ears the marina guards yelling about the Fed on the phone who mysteriously knew exactly where Heller was, and he just heard Heller mutter about being up against more than underwater sensors, making it increasingly likely that Heller knows someone is working against him who has him under constant surveillance.  It goes without saying that Gris fails to make that connection. 

Next chapter we'll get a sense of just how luxurious Krak's yacht is.  Also, Heller will hurt his hands.

Back to Chapter Two

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