Jonnie backs away from the threat, towards his plane, chiding himself for not trusting his instincts earlier. Even though they're thousands of feet in the air flying at over three hundred miles per hour with the door open... and they haven't been sucked out yet... well, now that Jonnie's mask is off he can smell Psychlo.
Once again, we go to Zzt's point of view with nothing more than a new paragaph. The Psychlo is trying not to vomit, not from the pain of getting blasted, which at most bruised him (Jonnie forgot to set his gun to "penetration"), but from the realization that he'd been terrified of Terl's man-animal. Somehow getting shot helped Zzt recognize Jonnie for what he was. Zzt's ready to kill Jonnie just out of fury for making his so spooked, but first asks what he's doing on the drone.
After the Psychlo brings up a tractor, Jonnie recognizes Zzt. Jonnie admits that he's trying to sabotage the drone, and asks why Zzt's aboard, which elicits several minutes of Psychlo cursing that Hubbard leaves to our more inspired imaginations. Jonnie asks about blasting open the drone's control box or severing the cables, but a bored and once again nauseous Zzt (this time from the rolling drone) tiredly explains that it's too well-armored.
Then Jonnie remembers the wrench that was thrown at him. He scoops up the tool and straightens up just in time to see Zzt charge at him again. Jonnie's switched to his radiation-laced assault rifle by now and fires a burst at the Psychlo, but his aim is off (for once) and Zzt is not reduced to a green flash. The chapter ends with Zzt in cover, fumbling with a mirror to spot the animal with, readying a metal ruler as a new weapon to bash Jonnie's brains in.
Apparently using guile or promises of cooperation to get within melee range of Jonnie is just not an option. Gotta stick with hurling tools, that's the ticket.
Back to Chapter Eight