Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Part 14, Chapter 2 - Oh Look, Back on the Gas Drone

And now for more Zzt. The least annoying of Psychlos is pretty pleased with himself for beaning Jonnie, though a little disappointed it wasn't a decapitating direct hit. But there's a lot of blood, Jonnie's teetering in and out of consciousness, and now the puny human has crawled into a loading hole too big for Psychlos.

After waiting a bit without seeing any activity, Zzt peeks into the dark cranny, only to have his flashlight and mirror shot out of his hands (which Hubbard doesn't call paws all the time). He ducks out of sight and waits.

For quite a while, he expected the animal to pop out and shoot. But nothing like that happened. He finally concluded that the animal had crawled in there and died. There sure was enough blood. Bled to death, probably. Zzt beamed happily.

Well, enough! Zzt decided he better get to work.

Aaaaand there goes what little regard I had left for Zzt. You'd think as backstabby a race as the Psychlos would have the "if you haven't found the body, it isn't dead" rule down by now.

Zzt gets a radio and wakes up Nup, who's a little confused and wondering about where "Snit" went, but is eventually browbeaten into moving his ship and landing over the drone's open door to help block the wind. Then Zzt salvages the spare fuel cartridges from Jonnie's plane, and tears out some wiring to sabotage the human's craft.

Which is a pretty strange thing to do. Zzt is convinced that Jonnie is dead at this point, and isn't watching his back or worrying about an ambush. There's no reason for him to mess up the crashed plane... besides, of course, to create another obstacle for Jonnie to prove his awesomeness by overcoming. But how would Zzt know that, I wonder?

The Psychlo gets Nup to drop a cable ladder and gets it secured, but tells Nup to pull back the safety line. "Devil with it, he didn't need it." And now apparently Psychlo mythology includes a devil figure. Or else Hubbard forgot he was writing about an alien.

An ore basket hauls up the bag of fuel cartridges, which Zzt belatedly realizes might contain ammo too, but he hadn't bothered to check. This will certainly not be important later. Zzt mentally shrugs and busies himself with finding a jet pack, just in case.

There were two there. He brought out both. He threw one over the side and put the other on. Left the animal with no out. But of course the animal was dead. And good riddance. Damn Terl!

He did it again. And immediately afterward Zzt smashes his radio, even though "he'd be shooting this thing to pieces later" - the "thing" being the invulnerable gas drone, mind you - "but caution was always best."

Then why haven't you found Jonnie's body and shot a... screw it. The chapter ends with Zzt starting his climb, with a full and happy life ahead of him.

You know what would've been hilarious? If Zzt hauled something too heavy for a human to move and used it to block that crawlspace Jonnie's passed out in. But of course he can't do that, because then Jonnie would lose.

Back to Chapter One

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