Having been humiliated in front of the other diplomats, Lord Schleim is trying a new tactic. Using a device hidden in his scepter he's sent Captain Snowl a coded, scrambled message on a "hyper-nondirectional" radio band that only the Tolneps know about and only specific receivers can pick up, ordering the newly-promoted officer to gather the Tolnep fleet currently over Singapore and move on the conference site.
Schleim, meanwhile, will use the "paralysis beam" built into the other side of his sceptor to incapacitate everyone around him, while he will be protected with "deaf-flaps" over his ears. From this we can gather that this "beam" is not in fact a focused stream of particles, and though its operation is based on hearing it's somehow able to affect a diverse array of life-forms in the same way.
With the conference-goers at his mercy, Schleim will go out and deactivate the "atmosphere armor" and let the Tolnep marines in. The alien actually acknowledges the humans' teleportation console, but is more interested in seeing it destroyed than seizing its secrets for himself. Widespread teleportation could only cause trouble for slavers like the Tolneps, after all.
Schleim even has a back-up plan: if his fleet is defeated, he'll just claim they turned pirate too. And though his actions risk the ire of The Small Grey Men, the Tolnep thinks their power has weakened in these "very troubled times" and that he should be able to pull this off. Once he gets everyone outside, that is.
At least this promises some upcoming events that aren't Jonnie being overly-theatrical and alien diplomats being stupid, even if those events will be "Jonnie saves the day" again.
Back to Chapter Two