Thursday, March 21, 2013

Part Fifty-One, Chapter One - Drugging and Holding Your Beau Prisoner is Romantic, Right?

Gris wakes up with a hangover wrought by booze and pot and Teenie's camera,and once again hopes that somebody will kill the teenager.  He ventures outside to find "a beautiful spring day for some people but not for me," because Gris is evil, remember, and before he can try to relax in the beautiful-for-other-people sunshine, he's called back into his room by a buzzer.  Turns out the viewscreen does know when Heller's woken up.  Somehow. 

The book's hero is still in bed, staring at the sign reading "Please push Bell S" dangling on a string from a pipe.  Gris throws another glob of foreshadowing at us by mentioning how "I was so stupid after last night, not even a sixth sense warned me of the catastrophe that was to begin," as if anything about Heller being presented with a sign on a string indicates imminent doom.

Heller presses button, receives butler, a "gaunt-faced man" who bows, offers him some aspirin, and says he's under strict orders to help him get to breakfast.  Heller puts on his own bathrobe, but "resign[s] himself" to not just being shaved by this strange, nameless man, but scrubbed in his bath by the butler.  And here, I think, we can really see the inner turmoil of the author - on the one hand, Heller is so independent and dynamic that it's in his nature to do this sort of thing for himself, but at the same time Heller exists to be lavished with luxury and pampered and praised for being just so dang superior to the rest of us.

So we get a compromise, where Heller is independent enough to dress himself, but doesn't have to worry about matters of hygiene.  The boatmansion's Chief Steward presents Heller with a "nautical jersey, white with horizontal red stripes, white pants, a red sash, deck shoes and a yachting cap."  With the Costume Porn concluded, the Boat Porn continues.

They escorted him with no little ceremony down a broad stairway and into a cheerful breakfast salon with murals of sailing craft blending in color with nautical designs on the tiled floor.  A resplendent table was set in the middle.  It had snowy white linen, silver dishes and plates and a single huge red rose in a tall white vase as a centerpiece.  There was an engraved menu on a plate.

Yeah, just lovely.  Going with current trends, this whole damned boat is going to either blow up or get impounded at the end of the book, never to be seen again. (edit from the future: if only)

Heller asks where Krak is, same as he did first thing after waking up, but this time instead of deflecting him towards breakfast the staff gives him a letter.  Gris, despite being unable to see Heller's face, knows what he picks it up "with some alarm."  Must've been Heller's wrists that tipped him off.

Dearest,

This was all my fault for not believing in you.
The only way I can earn your pardon is to clear this matter up.
If you went back, they would arrest you.
These are just women

Krak proves that you can be misogynist despite lacking a Y chromosome.
 
and women are best handled by a woman.  It shouldn't take long.
I will send you a radio when it is all settled.
Love, love, love!
K

P.S. I told them your name was H. Hider Haggerty, as that is on your CIA passport.

P.P.S. I took all your money so you can't bribe the crew.



So, once again, Krak gets to run around, solving Heller's problems by mind-controlling people.  Except this time she was smart enough to drug her boyfriend and ship him to another country so he can't interfere.  Because that's what Heller finds out when he protests this turn of events - the crew explains that they're under strict orders to help him "recover his strength" after those terrible flesh wounds, and understands that he's in some sort of trouble in the States and so will be staying out of American waters.  They're going back to the home country of this boat's owner, who is allegedly "Sultan Bey and Concubine," which means Heller is on a course to Turkey.

We're going.  Back to.  Turkey.

Heller took hold of a funnel stay. He glanced at the letter he still held and then looked all around at the very empty sea.

"Well, I'll be blasted!" he said. "I'm a prisoner!"

Just use your magic paralyzer light to knock everyone out and turn the damn boat around.  Or explain that your girlfriend is a crazy, delusional psycho and talk the crew into not following her orders.  Or I'm sure this boat has a smaller, just as luxurious boat stuck in a garage somewhere, so go steal that.  Or sneak onto the bridge at night and use the radio.  Or use your CIA "credentials" to pull rank.

Please don't take us back to Turkey.


Back to Part Fifty, Chapter Six

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