Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Part Fifty-Two, Chapter Two - Learn a New Word for Loincloth

And the worst pa... well, an annoying thing about last chapter - Crobe knows the theory's named after the black widow spider, but he rips a tarantula out of that poor woman.  So did he not do the research, or simply not care?  Doesn't that run the risk of "disproving" the "theory" when someone realizes the spider's the wrong species?

Anyway, this chapter should be very familiar, because it's another iteration of the classic Mission Earth formula:
  1. Gris calls some contacts and orders goons to intercept a protagonist
  2. The protagonist somehow eludes the bad guys, while Gris boggles
  3. Gris suddenly realizes that the protagonist has been saved by a cunning disguise or contrived coincidence
  4. The protagonist does a mysterious something to effortlessly defeat the bad guys, almost always in a humiliating manner
  5. Gris suddenly realizes that the protagonist pulled Alien Gizmo X out of his or her anus and curses his foe's diabolic cunning
  6. Gris ends the chapter smugly confident that things will go differently during his next trap
In this case, Gris tears his attention away from Crobe's crimes against nature in time to see Krak walk into the Harlot Haven disco, instantly and painfully dating this novel.  He calls those lawyers (1) to let them know that Krak's followed their star witnesses into a dance club, instead of cutting out the middleman and contacting the police directly.  Their apartment's still being guarded, but the lawyers send a squad to the disco too.

Loud Neo Punk Rock music pounds as Krak takes a seat and watches a trio of white, black, and Hispanic lads (ethnic diversity!) drop by to fondle the Whiz Kid Wives.  The dress code is "feathers and breechclouts over cloth with spangles."  I had to look up "breechclout" too.  Krak talks to herself in public by calling the other girls "hussies," immediately summoning a pair of Neo Punk Rockers to drop by and proposition her by lifting his breechclout.  They suddenly scream and hurry off, and Gris uses his psychic powers to understand that Krak kicked them in the shins.

A new song with "savage, sexual drumbeats" picks up, compelling clubgoers to get on the dance floor and lift their breechclouts at each other.  It's been almost a month since we've had some quality L. Ron Hubbard songwriting, hasn't it?

Shiver, shiver, shimmy!
And rub, rub, rub!
If you aren't coming,
Put it in the tub!
Four and twenty harlots,
Leaped about with glee.
If you can't whip her,
Put her on your knee!
If you can't (bleep) her,
Get her to go down!
Can't have little babies 
Running 'round the town!
So shiver, shiver, shimmy!
And come, come, come!

Definitely music that makes you want to flash people.

But then Shabby Man in Shabby Hat and Shabby Coat sticks his head in, and police swarm into the club!  "Bulldog" Grafferty runs around, clearly looking for someone.  His eye falls on the Countess Krak, but then "he RUSHED ON AND PEERED AT ANOTHER FACE!" (2)  Gris gets slightly encouraged when it looks like Grafferty is doubling back, but then Krak holds a little metal tube on her palm, flips a switch, puts one end in her mouth, and blows something at the police inspector.  Grafferty looks stricken and starts shouting about "POLAR BEARS!  MEN! ARREST THESE POLAR BEARS!" (4)

Oh hey, we broke the sequence.

Instead of wondering what the hell's wrong with the chief, or maybe getting him to have a lie-down, the cops rush the crowd, nightstick a-whacking, while the disco lovers flee for the exit in a panic, bowling over Shabby Man in Shabby Hat and Shabby Coat.  Krak gets up from her seat, finishes her 7-Up (favorite soda of alien infiltrators), and allows Gris to catch a glimpse of her arm so he realizes she's changed her skintone to that of a "high-yellow," or a person of mixed white-black ancestry, thanks Bob X. (3)  On the way out the door she takes care to step on Shabby Cubed's face and twist her heel, because he deserves it for serving that subpoena, the bastard. 

On her way out Krak yanks something out of Grafferty's neck, and Gris suddenly realizes (5) that Krak must have used a dart that "when put in a person, gave him sound and image that would make him think he had gone crazy.  But Grafferty had been incapable of that and had added his own interpretation to the vision."  Which makes no sense on a lot of levels.  Why is the dart that causes people to experience aural and visual hallucinations intended to make them consciously decide they've gone loco in the cabeza, isn't messing with someone's mind with the hallucinations an end in itself?  How can Grafferty be "incapable" of thinking he's crazy when rarely if ever do people who go crazy realize the fact?  Or wait, does the "incapable" thing mean that instead of seeing visions of polar bears and deciding "aaaah fake polar bears I'm crazy," he decided "aaaah real polar bears arrest them?"  What's the functional difference?

Anyway, Krak's out of the club, and then her viewscreen goes dark and muffled, which Gris doesn't so much as wonder about.  He hears her ordering Bang-Bang to take her to the Whiz Kid's Wives' apartment and a motor starting.

I sat back.  I didn't have to do another thing.  She was headed right into a steel-jawed trap of shoot-on-sight!


Back to Chapter One

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