Gris sleeps late and puts off checking on his highly sophisticated extraterrestrial spy equipment until after noon, whereupon he discovers that he's run out of recording strips for his highly sophisticated extraterrestrial spy equipment. Let us once again boggle how an interstellar empire with mind-control helmets and time-raping telescopes managed to overlook digital data storage.
So Gris resolves that he'll have to just constantly watch the viewscreen, and tunes in to see Krak finish lunch and board The Vehicle, which turns out to be "a WHITE VAN!" The chase begins! He calls the motor vehicles department and uses his Federal credentials to ask for more information about a white van! He doesn't know the plate number or model! There's tens of thousands of white vans in New York, the motor vehicles department guy says, and hangs up! The chase ends!
Well that didn't work. Gris calls the lawyers' office and learns they're in court, can't get ahold of Judge Hammer Twist to warn him, and so instead calls Eagle Eye Security to tell them that the "foul fiend" is still on the loose and got to the women they were supposed to be protecting last night. Then he catches the viewscreen to see that Krak is actually sitting in Judge Twist's courtroom that very moment, and orders the security agency to "NAIL HER!"
They don't, of course. The thugs never even show up. And no, Gris can't call the court security guards, the legal system's phone lines are just as tangled as its legal codes.
So the Whiz Kid Wives are in the courtroom, as are Dingaling, Chase and Ambo, with Krak in the audience because I guess anyone can get into an explosive, highly-publicized case like this. Judge Hammer Twist is bitching at everyone because "The livelihood of everyone connected with the law depends utterly upon ADDING cases to the calendar, NOT taking them off! Oh, I can tell you, this is VERY irregular!" But the girls are adamant about dismissing their previous charges.
Toots Switch Wister confesses that she was never married, but instead explains that the Whiz Kid stole her clothes without (bleeping) her, despite her protests, so she's now suing on grounds of abandonment. Mamie Spread Wister confesses that she was never pregnant, and is filing a $2 billion class-action lawsuit on behalf of all the women of Kansas who similarly had their rights infringed upon by not getting (bleeped) and impregnated by the Whiz Kid. And Dolores Pubianos de Cópula Wister confesses that she never married the Whiz Kid either - he simply (bleeped) her when she was a twelve-year-old before stealing her burro.
Think Krak or someone could point out that if the Whiz Kid just turned eighteen two books ago, he'd have been doing all this rapist bandito business that took place "many years ago" as a minor as well? Or can nobody in this book do math?
Judge Hammer Twist (good porn name, if you need one) calls the girls before the stand, charges them with "false swearing, criminal libel, perjury, etc., etc." and accepts their guilty pleas, sentencing them to ten minutes' jailtime each. In the meantime, he'll be accepting their new lawsuits, most importantly Dolores' charge of "RAPE OF A MINOR!" which is punishable not only by life in prison, but thanks to a new law, frequently-fatal sterilization. It'll just take five days for the paperwork to get to Mexico and back, since that's where the minor-on-minor rapeage took place, and then the lawyers will have up to five days to issue their warrant. Sounds like we have a deadline for the next hundred pages' action! Court dismissed.
The Countess Krak, amongst the spectators, was muttering with subdued rage. "Oh, the sluts! The hussies! They added to what I told them to say!"
Wow, turns out mind-controlling people to stop doing something you don't like doesn't prevent them from doing something else you don't like. If only she'd added something about staying out of court or never placing any sort of charges against the Whiz Kid again.
Ten minutes later, inside the white van, she was recounting it to Bang-Bang as they drove. "Somebody coached them!" she concluded. "Somebody is behind this!"
The lawyers? Y'know, the evil people who ruin lives so they can get rich from frivolous lawsuits? Pretty sure Bang-Bang told you about them.
"Could be that bucktoothed nut that impersonates Jet," Bang-Bang said over his shoulder through the driver-compartment door as he caromed off a truck. "Maybe he done them things."
Oh yeah, the bucktoothed nut, not the guys behind the girls' lawsuits who stand to make millions from them. Definitely the clown doing publicity stunts, that's the mastermind.
The Countess Krak said, "Bang-Bang, I think you've got it. But where do we find him?"
On the other hand, it's surprising it's taken Krak this long to contemplate going after the man defaming her twue love. I mean, that bucktoothed, bespectacled troglodyte dared to besmirch the honor of the handsome, perfect Jettero Heller! That's a killin' offense.
"Legwork," said Bang-Bang. "I may not be very big but I can kick hell out of people.
That's actually almost funny.
You leave that up to me. We'll get Jet clear of this legal tangle yet!"
He's clear of it now, he's on a boat headed to another country. If Bang-Bang could use his mob ties to get him a new identity or something, they could just watch the Whiz Kid legal drama from the comfort of a new apartment. Use the magical time telescope to rob the stock market, buy up all the old businesses and properties under a new company, ta-da. Or hell, go to Turkey with him and start up a world-saving business there under asylum status or something.
But I guess that wouldn't involve Krak running around mind-controlling people.
So Krak and Bang-Bang escape the security guards who never showed up. While the initial lawsuits against Heller have been neutralized, some even worse charges have taken their place, and now at least Gris knows what vehicle she's in. All in all he's no worse than he was last chapter, and probably is doing better. So that doom and gloom at the chapter's start is pretty misplaced.
Next chapter, on the other hand...
Back to Chapter Five