Monday, May 20, 2013

Part Fifty-Four, Chapter Six - Is It Still a Rescue When You Sent Them Into Danger in the First Place?

Gris is in full panic mode now that "the forces of evil had united their fangs against me."  His two most feared and hated enemies are working together once more, and have not only slipped the hasty trap he barely remembered to set for them, but are proceeding to muscle, murder, mindrape their way out of their legal problems.  On top of that:

If Madison lost his Whiz Kid double and imagined it had been my fault, the PR man might turn on me and decide to make ME famous.  Nobody could live through that.

Which is deeply confusing.  When Krak kidnapped and hypnotized Gerry several chapters ago, she programmed him to stay with her until his court appearance.  He's been missing for over a day.  And Madison hasn't noticed yet?  Also, why would Madison leap to the conclusion that this Federal agent he rarely comes in contact with would be behind Gerry's disappearance?  Unless Gris is realizing that his not-quite-warnings that someone might leak F.F.B.O.'s role in the Whiz Kid media circus might look a little suspicious in hindsight.

Also, let's add this to the pile of Gris' problems that could be solved by a new identity from the Apparatus base in Turkey that specializes in making fake birth certificates.

Gris calls up Raht on his state-of-the-art alien-made two-way radio, informing his remaining lackey that Crobe has become "supernumerary."  This is either the author subtly showing how Gris will pick up and use vocabulary words he hears other, smarter characters use, or the author showing off his word-a-day calendar.  Raht agrees to kidnap Dr. Crobe and ship him back to Turkey.

It's quite natural to wonder how capturing Crobe helps Gris defeat Krak and Heller, or would deflect Madison's blame over the loss of Gerry.  But this is in fact his half-assed way of saving the Whiz Kid double - not by freeing him from his imprisonment in a brain-scrambling asylum, but by removing one doctor from the mental hospital.

I clicked off.  It was all I could come up with.  I wondered if I could do more to rescue the double.  Factually, I didn't feel well enough to go over to Bellevue myself---and part of this was, I had to admit, a fear that they would latch on to me.  No matter how enamored one might become of the general subject of psychiatry, it was a wise thing to stay away from psychiatrists.  Just because the king needs a headsman is no reason to invite the hooded axe-swinger to dinner.

So there you have it.  Yeah, Gris' plan doesn't actually rescue the fake Whiz Kid, but he's tired, and those psychiatrists are scary.  So he has a liedown until later that afternoon.

It's only after being "nagged by a sense of duty" that Gris bothers to check on his hated, deadly foes.  Krak is packing, Heller's back to planning his anti-pollution campaign, and I can only assume Krak and Heller's talk about why it's wrong to imprison your boyfriend on a yacht and send him halfway around the world due to a misplaced desire to "protect" him happened off-screen sometime.  Now they're still trying to puzzle out what F.F.B.O. stands for.  Gris continues to fret that Krak may follow the trail to Madison and then to him, as if Krak would know that Mr. Inkswitch is an alias of Soltan Gris.

Then Raht calls in with bad news.  He and some guards went to Bellevue Hospital and were directed to Dr. Crobe.  They found a bucktoothed kid in his office hooked up to a shock machine and already passed out with a syringe in his arm, but before they could find Crobe the Apparatus thugs all lost consciousness by what Raht guesses was a Blueflash, that magical light that knocks people out.  When Raht's team came to, the bucktoothed kid was gone and Crobe was strapped in the electroshock machine in his place, with a note, in Voltarian, telling someone to "Take this murderer home and see that he stays locked up."  Crobe is on his way to Turkey, while the staff at Bellevue is now under the impression that the Whiz Kid passed his mental examination and is totally sane.

Or in Gris' words, Krak and Heller "HAD GONE FROM THAT COURT TO THE HOSPITAL!" while he was failing to nap.  And at least the people at the reception desk were hypnotized into declaring Gerry sane.  Nice of Krak to let the guy out after sending him over to be zapped and injected with crap, though I can't help but wonder if they could've come up with a plan that skipped that part.

So Gris is freaking out... again, like he does every chapter that Krak and/or Heller does something.  Did they hypnotize Crobe into spilling the beans?  What have they done with Gerry?  Who was the note in Voltarian for, do they know a fellow alien is involved in all this?

The answers are "I don't know," "I don't know," and "I don't know."  I've skimmed ahead through most of the book - we're in for a long, boring ride, folks - and can't find a part where Krak and Heller talk about what they learned from Crobe.  As far as I can tell, Gerry the fake Whiz Kid unceremoniously disappears from this point on, and not even Madison spends much time thinking about him.  And it doesn't look like the note's explained either.

Nope, the rest of this book looks to be mostly Gris touring his way back to Turkey (dammit), Krak and Heller doing stuff in Florida, and at the end, possibly that mid-air kidnapping indicated on the cover.

And Teenie, of course.

Back to Chapter Five

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