Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Part Fifty-Eight, Chapter Six - Abandon Ship

Stupid Firefox update messing with text sizes and messing with my eyes... oh, right, daring escape or something.

Gris has "TWO HOURS!" until Jowls comes back with the money Teenie wants before sending the boat to Turkey.  He quickly decides to escape to the nearby Greek isle of Chios before those mean Turkish women stone him to death, and goes back to his room.  He elects not to pack anything due to both time constraints and the fact that "anything that had to do with Teenie was bad luck."  Instead he'll just be throwing on some clothes and grabbing a few pieces of vital equipment.

I grabbed some clothes at random and began to hurl them on: running shorts, a business jacket, a straw hat, scuba slippers.

In case you were wondering how to defuse the tension of an escape sequence, here you go: dress your main character like a clown.

Then we spend two paragraphs on Gris' gun.  He wants something silenced in case he has to deal with the crew (why not just deal with Teenie?), and it's suddenly revealed that he bought "an old American International Model 180" from a Palermo street vendor when we weren't looking.  I can't figure out what weapon Hubbard is referring to, but it's a .22 caliber fully-automatic machine gun with a 1,200 round-per-minute rate of fire and drum magazines.  And a silencer.  It is both an "ugly short thing" and a rifle Gris slings on his back.  And yes, Gris knows how to assemble it.  Guess all he did on his Earth missions was lounge about in Turkey, watch old gangster movies, and dis- and reassemble vintage guns.

He decides to store the three spare magazines in his life jacket by ripping out the flotation material.  Even Gris realizes this may compromise the vest's buoyancy, but then he "suddenly" thinks of Madison, and abandons his old train of thought to go rescue the publicist.  See, in the event that the nebulous "they" who are after Gris seize the yacht, and they decide to capture Madison, and the story makes it to the papers, and the Countess Krak reads the paper, Gris doesn't want her flying across the world to try to interrogate Madison.  Gris has apparently forgotten his earlier "his sinister PR arts could be useful" reasoning for bringing Madison along in the first place, not that it was really important beyond putting Madison in a position to be sent to Voltar.

Gris sneaks into Madison's room and informs the publicist that "the Mafia bribed the captain to make eunuchs of us and sell us into slavery."  Madison bursts into tears and gets dressed, and Gris leaves him on deck before procuring an escape vehicle.  The captain and crewmen are talking about putting up "drifting lights" for safety reasons, but Gris knows that they're for signalling the other boat!  So he pulls the silenced automatic riflemagig on them and, over their protests that the seas are terrible, gets them to ready an inflatable boat for him to escape on.  He has to spray some (silenced) bullets over their heads to get them to cooperate, which ends up bringing a mangled light down on the captain before he can say something that surely wasn't important.

Hey, quick question - why is abandoning ship the best course of action?  Maybe hijacking the yacht back from Teenie's influence would be more practical?  Or perhaps Gris could set an ambush for Jowls and gun him down?  Wait, no, we need Jowls alive later for the big reveal, and we need to avoid talking to the captain to set up the next few chapters.

The annoying thing is that it's pretty obvious by this point that we'll be going to Turkey, so Gris' escape attempt is doomed to failure, making this whole sequence a complete waste of time. 

Bitts gets knocked out, Gris refuses a motor for his raft because he knows it'll be sabotaged, Madison climbs aboard, and Gris does an action jump into the bobbing dingy.  Next stop, Greece?

Back to Chapters Four and Five

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