The palace of Queen Teenie stood in the dark and cold. The moaning that came from it matched the wind.
The harsh Army field lights that glared at it in blue only seemed to intensify the gloom.
There, three sentence ought to be enough. Don't want to go overboard with this sort of thing.
Heller leaves his train of electro-shackled prisoners, most notably Gris and Madison, in the care of some soldiers, then makes for the entrance of the not-queen's palace. Heller, Krak and Snelz are allowed to enter once they surrender their weapons. Inside there's a bunch of sobbing boys lying in heaps along the walls, Teenie slouching listlessly on her throne, and some scattered "tops and other toys" on the floor. Because remember, every one of these perverted sex fiends are underage. It's a vital part of their character.
Snelz admits that he might have given them the idea that Teenie was going to be executed by showing them Homeview footage of an admiral demanding just that. So Voltar is a society where you can be tortured to death after a three-minute "trial" in a park consisting of just you and the judge, no defense attorney, and you're only allowed to make your plea instead of arguing your case or presenting evidence of your own... and being a minor is no defense, they'll still kill you. And this civilization is superior to anything our corrupt and crazy planet Earth could come up with.
Krak finally notices that Teenie is "just an adolescent Earth girl," which is impressive, since Voltarians and Earthlings are supposed to be indistinguishable. Maybe Krak has Super Anthropology Vision to balance out Heller's Super Rock Granularity Vision. At this Teenie perks up and insists that she's the Queen of Flisten, "And I will go to my doom like Royalty!" And then she immediately goes bi-polar and slumps over again, crying that Madison wrecked everything, "Nobody loves me, everybody hates me. I'm going out and eat worms [sic]."
This gets all those other kids in the great hall a-keening, crying out that they love her, and the staff wails "Don't break our hearts, Queen Teenie!" and the major-domo demands to be executed along with their mistress, and we could've avoided this ridiculous situation if you'd just had Snelz' men stun the morons with melee weapons, Heller.
"Good Gods," said Heller, shaking loose. "What have I gotten into!"
"You've gotten into the same situation that we had in Afyon, Turkey," said the Countess Krak. "The little boys and Utanc! I've heard about this girl.
When? How? Argh, let's see... Krak hypno-helmeted Heller's college professor, right. And she hypno-helmeted Rockecenter's psychologist. But she never got into Gris' circle, and there's where Teenie was, so... Guess she must've read about Teenie in an Earth newspaper.
She's just another example of what Earth does to people. Unless you handle her, you'll have this perversion all over Voltar like a plague. When I think of my failures to reform Miss Simmons and the rest, I have to advise you that there's only one thing to do. You can't deport her because, as I understand it, there will shortly be no place to deport her to. You will have to execute her."
If only there was a place, some sort of secure building, you could hold criminals that you don't want to execute but who are too dangerous to leave free.
The wails and sobs were deafening!
"Shut up!" shouted Heller.
The keening redoubled!
In the din, Heller said to the Countess Krak and Snelz, "Please let me handle this." He looked around and picked a child's toy off the floor.
I'm not sure why these two are a couple, honestly. We saw that Heller fell for Krak immediately because of her looks, yet he doesn't seem to approve of her "rape their mind or kill them" method of problem-solving, and that's pretty much all there is to her. Good legs, good hair, great cans, and sociopathy.
"Oh, Jettero," said the Countess Krak. "You're too softhearted. I know exactly what you're going to do now. You're going to pardon her and tell her to be good and then she'll go right out and undermine the entirety…"
Several maids spotted where the opposition might be coming from. On bended knees, they clutched at the Countess, distracting her. "Please don't kill Queen Teenie!" they were crying. One ripped her own dress apart and bared her breasts. "Kill us," she said, "but let her live!"
Or at least give me a bead necklace!
"SHUT UP ALL OF YOU!" shouted Heller.
When heroes have to shout things like this, they seem less heroic.
Heller climbs up Teenie's throne, puts and arm around her, but instead of strangling the girl he kisses her on the cheek. "Well I never!" says Krak like the proper Southern belle she is not. All are silent as Heller dries Teenie's tears with his "redstar engineer's rag," whatever that is, and has her blow her nose. Then he carries her to a door and has a muted conversation with her.
Then a scrap of Heller's low-voiced communication drifted to them. "So the only question is whether you will do this for me or not."
The Countess Krak, still in the hall, was horrified. She was absolutely certain that Heller was propositioning the girl.
And because she thinks he is, he obviously isn't, but the author is still going to go through with this farce anyway.
She moaned, "Oh, Lords, now she's even gotten to him!"
Teenie abruptly let out a giggle of delight.
Everyone inside the hall was electrified.
As horrified as Krak is, she still does absolutely nothing while her boyfriend and an underage girl go into a side room, and the most she does over the fifteen minutes that follow is moan "Oh, my Lords." From someone who went around scrambling the brains of any woman on Earth who she imagined had the hots for Heller, this is somewhat surprising. But she has to be passive for this scene, so the "comedy," or titillation, or whatever we're supposed to be getting out of this, works.
Suddenly the door opened. Heller and Teenie came out. Teenie was pulling the robe around her shoulders. Then she suddenly threw her arms around Heller and she said, "Whiz Kid, you are a Whiz Kid after all! And you are quite a man!" And she lifted up on tiptoe and she kissed him!
The people in the hall somehow sensed the crisis was over. They began to scream with paeans of delight. The din was deafening.
The Countess Krak fainted.
Ha ha ha. She thinks her fiance is an unfaithful ephebophile.
Don't worry, Heller will only let the love of his life suffer betrayal and doubt for the next couple of pages. He'll explain things eventually.
Back to Chapters Three and Four