Thursday, June 20, 2013

Part Fifty-Eight, Chapter One - Mission Greece

A new Part, but nothing's changed.  Still on that damn boat.  Still tootling around Europe.  Still butchering history in an attempt at humor.  Still stalling before the inevitable return to Turkey and the resumption of all those wonderful subplots.

Well, there's one difference - Gris absolutely slathers on the foreshadowing right off the bat.

In a leisurely way, through deceptively calm seas, I was being sailed onward to my doom.

Fate is sometimes like a headsman who is in no hurry: He gets the victim on the platform, adjusts the condemned man's neck just so, artistically hones his axe and sends an assistant off for a mug of beer so he can enjoy the scenery and gloat before he delivers the sizzling swoosh that will sever forever the desirable connection between skull and torso.

Translation: something interesting will happen eventually, I swear.

Gris describes the voyage to Greece using phrases like "The white yacht drew a gentle wake but it was a fatal mark in my history" or "Four cruising days were consumed, days like drops of lifeblood running out unseen," and assures us that he's been checking on Krak and Heller daily.  We're told that they're very "active" in the mornings, but the only thing he considers worth reporting was the one time they mentioned that their yacht was gone.  Just imagine them jabbering on about their plans to revolutionize the world's fuel industry while Gris reads the paper, half-listening for the word "yacht" to pop up in their conversation.

This leads to a paragraph of Gris explaining how he needs the yacht to avoid the Turkish authorities or Nurse Bildirjin's angry father, which has nothing to do with why he took the yacht in the first place.  It's just a clumsy reminder of what would happen if Gris were to go to Turkey, another attempt to make this miserable boat trip exciting.

They tour Greece, or more specifically some archaeological sites at Pella, Alexander's father's capital.  Gris' tiny mind can't understand the floor decorations: "They were pebble mosaic, many-hued, heads of lions, scenes of the hunt and they WALKED ON THEM!"  He immediately surmises that Alexander decided he was a god after walking upon such floor mosaics as a baby, "An obvious case of spacio-psychological mispositioning of the medulla oblongata, leaving him with no option but to conquer the world."  Madison gives another spiel about how the legendary "outlaw" Alexander "was 99 percent a PR creation."  The ancient floors begin to buckle and crack under the combined weight of the cast's stupidity.

Madison disregards facts and insists that Alexander's mother murdered his father for the crime of getting married too many times, leading Gris to reflect that he's already been married twice and would probably be forced to marry that nurse if he ever returned to Turkey.  At this point even the thickest readers know for certain that Gris will be going back to Turkey. 

More viewscreens, with Heller's ass being kissed by Dean Twaddle.  "One hundred percent across the boards in a vast array of subjects."  Astonishing improvement from his high school grades.  Absolutely no suspicion that a dismal high schooler suddenly became a magna cum laude college student.  Passing mention of Miss Simmons who has given speeches praising Heller to the faculty... remember her?  Not really?  Well, she turned out not to matter, so don't worry about it.

The only hitch is that Heller is enrolled in ROTC and will therefore go onto active duty as a second lieutenant upon graduation, which is problematic because he's already sworn allegiance to an alien empire.  Gris' hopes are dashed because Heller's graduating with a degree in Nuclear Science, and conveniently the army will let nuclear engineers take up civilian jobs.  Cushy, high-paying jobs.

My heart sank.  There went my last chance.  Heller would be as busy as a hurricane getting out new fuel and wrecking Rockecenter and Lombar.  This was BAD!

Gloom deepened around me.

The reality of the mess I was in was reaching me.

Suddenly the thought hit me that Bury would be on my trail when Heller's villainous determination to save this planet reached his ears.  A better, cleaner fuel would be just wonderful for five billion Earth people

It was actually six billion in 2000. 

but would be death for Rockecenter and that's what counted.

Wow, the grim reality of Gris' situation has managed to penetrate the thick layer of idiocy that protects his brain for a confusing and complicated world.  Wonder how he plans to salvage the situation and

I couldn't stand any more.  I dragged myself to my bedchamber and lay down.

Remember that part in Empire Strikes Back when it looked like the Falcon had escaped from the Imperial fleet, and Darth Vader got all depressed and locked himself in his meditation sphere for a nap? 

Teenie wakes Gris up and mention how she wants to climb Mount Olympus to look for Alexander and the other Greek deities, and also get a look at Turkey.  Gris vomits.

We're still forty pages from Turkey.  The author is going to drag this out as long as humanly possible.

Back to Part Fifty-Seven, Chapter Eight

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