Monday, December 30, 2013

Part Seventy-Nine, Chapter Two - Death by Magic Mail

I guess these chapters "justify" the existence of Teenie's private island and army of gigolos, in that by using them in conjunction with psychiatric drivel, drugs, and the hologram emitters in Madison's not-so-haunted apartment, the villainous protagonists were able to convince alien publishers to air their stories.  I just can't help but wonder if this is the most direct way to reach that objective, whether for example the blackmail material Madison was mentioned picking up from the Apparatus couldn't have done the job easier.

Anywho, Teenie's back and she's mad again.  That is to say, she's mad as usual.  Madison tries to show off his newspaper clippings, which don't contain anything about Gris.

"No, no.  This just shows the dawning of press control.  Right now they're just bragging about psychiatry.  Isn't it marvelous?  Some of this is front page!  It's never been done before in the history of Voltar!  Influencing their press."

Yes, the Apparatus, that enormously powerful, underhanded organization of clandestine evil, couldn't figure out a way to control the media until Madison came along and showed them how it's done.  With every chapter, the author methodologically undermines the menace of his own villains.

"Listen, buster, I'm helping you for just one reason.  You'll forget that to your sorrow!  I want that Gris spread-eagled on the block down there and hours and hours every day filled with his screams.  I've thought of things way beyond anything dreamed up by Pinch.  And all the way here from Palace City today, I've been thinking up new ones!  Oh, I'm MAD!"

Wait, I just realized: during Gris' "confession" he laments how much trouble Teenie would cause him after he shipped her off to Voltar.  Yeah, "Having no crystal ball or ways to read the horrible future to hand, I thought, with satisfaction, that that was the end of Teenie."  Except he ends his testimony right after he arrives in prison and starts writing it down, or in other words, before Teenie arrived on Voltar, because remember he made the trip on Heller's super-fast luxury tugboat.  Yet he still somehow knew she'd go after him after arriving.

Oh dear.  Is there a plot problem in Mission Earth?

As for why Teenie's mad, it's Too-Too.  The catamite is near catatonic and brought in on a stretcher, forcing Teenie to use "mouth-to-mouth" to revive him with secondhand marijuana smoke.  See, the delay and self-interest of Captain Bolz messed up the base's mail service, which means that Gris' "magic mail" order went through, which means Too-Too's response was too late, which means "HIS MOTHER HAD BEEN MURDERED!"  Oh, how terrible!  A family member we've never met of a minor character we don't like has been slain off-screen!

Too-Too continues to spill the space beans about Gris' horrible misdeeds, and we learn that despite being ordered by him to kill some members of his office, Too-Too instead tattled to Lombar Hisst, which is what got Gris in trouble.  So old Bawtch is alive, and only got transferred to a new office!

...You remember Old Bawtch, right?  He was - you know what, he doesn't matter.

"Now you've heard it," Teenie said, her eyes smoldering as she looked at Madison over Too-Too's head.  "Don't let any grass grow under your feet.  GET THAT GRIS!"

Madison grinned.  With material like this, how could he miss?  It would open the door to Heller with a crash.

And as always, the author has to staple on a reminder that somehow this all has to do with Heller, that there's an overarching plot to all these swerves across the narrative landscape, honest.

Back to Chapter One 

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