The Eagle Eye Security team proves to have been named ironically by the story's author, and fail to agree on the make of the van they just watched escape. After informing them that "You goofed!", Gris leaves them to their attempts to set up roadblocks to nab the fugitive, catches the last minutes of the Weirdo World (the audience has started to make cat puns), and decides to head home. I mean, sure, one of his most dangerous foes is slipping through his fingers, but he's pretty tired, his head injury is bleeding again, and more importantly:
Besides, I was afraid I might be overdue for my afternoon appointment with lesbians at the apartment. Adora must get no suspicion that I had to figure out how to do in Krak and Heller and run, before the homo education began. Teenie I would get to somehow, some way.
Bros before hoes, but hoes before foes. Not sure where bros and foes end up in relation to each other, it could be a linear continuum or a triangle.
Gris is able to find the energy to turn on the portable viewscreen during his cab ride home, though. Krak and Bang-Bang are in their van, which apparently has flip-on license plates, and take the abducted Whiz Kid to a safehouse in a warehouse. He can't get the location because nobody mentions the address, there's no windows in the back of the van, and Krak keeps looking at the purring, grinning Mr. Calico. The most he can say is that by the sound of running water, it must be an old bootlegger's hideout with a trap door to help smuggle booze by boat and current.
When the body double who looks nothing like Heller refuses to spill the beans, Krak sends Bang-Bang outside to stand guard so she can whip out the alien headwear and violate free will some more. Unfortunately, the Whiz Kid doesn't know all that much.
"[...] Who gives you your orders?"
"I don't know."
So instead she just has him give her his life story.
Gerry Wister is a Georgia-born orphan who was attending the Massachusetts Institute of Wrectology... that's... One day, a man offered him a job going around, saying and doing things in exchange for money, girls, good grades, and so forth. The man explained that this may look like it was getting him in trouble, but it would really help another guy, Jerome Terrace Wister, become famous. Gerry went along with it because he thought he had a brother named Jerome, and sure he'd like to help him become famous. Also, he was promised wimmin.
And he is an exceptionally shallow pool of information regarding the anti-Heller conspiracy. He doesn't know the name of his boss, and just calls him Ed. He gets paid in blank envelopes, and just has to sign a receipt made out to F.F.B.O., some meaningless initials to him. An attentive reader might, after checking his or her notes for names and concepts that get dropped for entire books at a time, remember those initials as representing Fatten, Farten, Burstein and Ooze, the Rockecenter cartel's PR and advertising firm. But Gerry doesn't know that, and Krak doesn't either.
Instead she programs the sap into confessing for all of Jerome's crimes, ignoring anyone who tries to "tell you to do different" (Krak isn't taking any chances this time). So this stupid schmuck will get hit with the full penalty for rape of a minor and bigamy and all those other completely fictional offenses cooked up by Madison's team, so the magnificent Jettero Heller can return to the US and work in peace. Yay?
Then she makes him write up a full confession explaining that "this is all a put-up job." So he'll confess to the crimes that he confesses are fake? Could we maybe skip the first step and have Gerry explain that this is all nonsense so nobody has to go to jail for crimes that never existed? No? Really need him to get imprisoned and executed by sterilization?
While a soon to be selectively amnesiac Gerry sits down with a pen and paper, Krak consults Bang-Bang about the initials, but all he's interested in is the leftover scotch in this throwback to the author's memories of Prohibition. And then I guess Krak has decided that because Gerry has now been programmed to confess to Heller's crimes tomorrow, it's safe for her to call in the yacht and have it land the next evening so she can see her Jettero again. Because the last time she tried to get someone to clear things up in court, it went just like she wanted, right?
And Gris is just pleased as punch. He now knows the time and place that Heller's getting dropped off, and unlike Krak he knows that Judge Hammer Twist will be out of town tomorrow, and I guess that's important somehow. I'd assume that this gives him time to warn Madison or try to stop Gerry from confessing, except as far as I can tell he doesn't try. So is his plan to bet everything on grabbing Heller at the docks and letting his ongoing, successful scheme fall apart?
Oh, thank Gods for this sloppy, slow court system! Heller would not only be picked up but would be safely in Bellevue and maybe even dead before she ever got her confession before the judge.
Looks like it. Bank on stopping the unstoppable object through force instead of continuing the successful legal campaign.
The seizure of Heller would drive her out of her mind! And if they killed him, she'd be so grief-stricken, she'd be no menace to anybody!
That last part may actually be credible, considering how much sheer moping Krak did when she read that newspaper last book. But Gris is otherwise assuming Krak will sit around if Heller gets in trouble, despite the fact that here she is, actively foiling Gris in her efforts to get Heller out of trouble.
I think I could summarize half of this blog with "Soltan Gris is quite stupid."
I might not know where she was. But I was saved after all!
I reached for the phone to call Grafferty.
That yacht would be MET!
And so we end the chapter with a sentence that, while grammatically correct, still feels like it was cut in half.
Back to Part Fifty-Three, Chapter Six