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Chapter 9
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  1. Chapter 9 • At the opera house, the players are rehearsing Mozart's The Magic Flute. • During their break, Rick makes his way backstage to Luft's dressing room. • He introduces himself as San Francisco Police and informs her that he'll be performing an empathy test on her, despite her protests. • Luft takes the test but keeps messing with the results by asking questions of all of Rick's questions. She especially plays up that English is not her native language. • When the adhesive disk falls off, Rick bends over to pick it up. When he sits up, he finds LubaLuft has drawn a laser tube on him. • Claiming he's a sexual deviant, she calls the police, a move Rick thinks will be the best thing for him. • An Officer Crams arrives. He claims he knows all the bounty hunters and inspectors in the SFPD, and—surprise, surprise—he's never heard of a Rick Deckard or an Inspector Bryant. • Rick calls Bryant on the phone while Crams takes Luft's statement. • Crams and Rick agree to go to the station to straighten the matter out, and Crams calls in a pickup for the retired andy in Rick's trunk. • As the police hovercar takes off, Rick notices it's heading south, the wrong direction. He realizes the truth—the androids set a trap for him. • Dun dundun. • The only comfort Rick has as the police car descends into the fake police station is that, at the very least, he got one of the Nexus-6 androids.

  2. Chapter 10 • Inside, Rick is processed through an actual police station, and he wonders who these people are, working in a parallel police agency to his own. • He's brought in to see a police official. • The official rummages through Rick's briefcase while Rick puts in a call to his wife. • Rick dials the number, but the woman's face on the other line is not his wife's. • The police official invites Rick into his office and says his name is Garland. He also happens to be the third android on Rick's hit list, and, we have to say, that has to be a super awkward way to meet someone. • Garland calls to have the station's bounty hunters sent in, noting it's an unpleasant experience to find oneself on a hit list. • Bounty hunter Phil Resch enters the office, and Garland brings him up to speed. • Resch thinks it's a bad idea to run a bone marrow test on Polokov, noting the man always felt cold and calculating. • And guess what? He was an android. • Rick and Resch agree to take the android test, even though Garland still thinks it's bad for morale to have senior officials take the test.

  3. Chapter 11 • Garland agrees to have the test run on him, and Resch leaves to grab his equipment. • As soon as he does, Garland draws a laser tube on Rick. Rick points out it won't make a difference as Resch will just run the same bone marrow test on him, proving he was human. • Garland lowers the laser tube and informs Rick that Resch is an android as well but one with false memories. • Rick wonders what Resch will do when he finds out, and Garland says he hasn't the foggiest notion. To be fair, that's not really Garland's No. 1 problem at the moment. • He explains to Rick how the fake police operation works and how he took a gamble on Polokov, one that obviously didn't pay off. • Resch returns, Garland draws on him, but Resch gets the drop. He kills the senior officer. • Resch asks Rick what was said while he was gone, but Rick only says that Garland admitted to being an android. • He tells Rick they have to double back to the opera house to get LubaLuft before she flees. • They set up Garland to look as not dead as possible (good luck) and have his secretary cancel all his calls. Then Resch uses his authority to break Rick out of the android-infested building. • On the elevator up to the roof, Resch asks if Rick's department will give him a job. • Rick, knowing the truth, lies and says he sees no reason why not. • Resch begins questioning whether a real Garland was replaced with an android or if he had been implanted with false memories (which only work on androids apparently). • In the hovercar and en route to the opera house, Resch asks Rick to administer the Voigt-Kampff test on him once they get LubaLuft. • Resch doesn't believe the memories are false. After all, he owns a squirrel, and he loves the thing.

  4. Chapter 12 • At the opera house, Rick and Resch are told LubaLuft has gone to the Edvard Munch exhibit at the museum. • Art Snack: Edvard Munch is the Norwegian artist who painted The Scream and a bunch of other wonderfully symbolic Expressionist works that no one bothers to remember because everyone is crazy in love with The Scream and because it's been the target in several high profile art crimes. And if there is one guaranteed way to make a painting famous, it's to steal the heck out of it. Looking at you, Mona Lisa. • Bonus snack: Munch composed four different versions of The Screamand one lithograph. So, while people talk of it as a single painting, that's not technically the case. • They search the museum for LubaLuft as Resch worries over whether he is an android. • Resch spies—what else?—The Scream. He believes the painting expresses what the androids must feel. • They find LubaLuft checking out a Munch painting, Puberty. • They escort LubaLuft to Rick's car, but on the way, she asks Rick to buy her a print of Puberty. Rick pays for a compilation book out of his own pocket. • On the way, LubaLuft confesses she's an android, saying she always wanted to be a real boy. Er, human. • She also harasses Resch for being an android, which… big mistake. He retires her right there. • Rick takes the laser tube from Resch and burns the book. Distraught over her death, he feels the world could have used Luft's beautiful voice. • He calls in a patrol car to transfer Luft's body to the station for a bone marrow test. • Resch agrees to take the Voigt-Kampff test. • The test results read Resch as human. Rick suggests a defect in the man's ability to empathize with androids. Resch notes it's not odd as they don't test for that. • Rick takes the test himself and realizes the truth: He is able to empathize with certain types of androids. He's the one with the "defect." • Resch, ever the gentleman, says it's just sex, theorizing Rick wanted to bed LubaLuft. • For the first time, Rick wonders if he is a good bounty hunter.

  5. Chapter 13 • John Isidore flies home with delicacies he purchased at a black-market grocery store, like a pre-war bottle of Chablis. • Back at Pris's apartment, Isidore shows his new friend the feast. • Isidore theorizes that Pris's problem is she doesn't have any friends, but she says she has friends, seven of them in fact. Wait, how many androids were supposed to have escaped the colonies again (nudge, nudge; wink, wink; say no more)? • She explains that a bounty hunter is after them, but Isidore thinks that would be against the tenets of Mercerism. • She agrees to have a peach slice and begins to cry. Isidore, who just learned to introduce himself this morning, isn't well equipped to deal with someone crying. • Pris tells the story of how she and her friends emigrated from Mars and how horrible it is on that ancient, dead planet. • The one good thing, she explains, is the pre-colonial fiction written about space travel before it was an actual thing. For her, these stories imagine the world the way it should, not as it is. • A knock comes at the door. Pris asks Isidore to answer it. • On the other side are Roy and Irmgard, two of Pris's friends from Mars.

  6. Chapter 14 • Roy and Irmgard update Pris on the situation. No, not Mike "the Situation" Sorrentino, but the bounty-hunter-coming-to-retire-them situation. • To summarize, they are the only three left of the eight, and they've got to stick together. • Isidore finds he cannot fathom Roy as the man is too… mechanical. As they talk, he realizes this is true for all of them, even Pris, who seems "almost natural" (14.21). • Roy's plan is for Irmgard and him to live in the current apartment and for Pris and Isidore to live in Isidore's. He'll jerry-build a two-way bug and an alarm system. • Pris argues with this plan a bit, but it becomes clear that Rule No. 1 is that Roy makes the decisions. Rule No. 2: No exceptions to Rule No. 1 unless you are—wait for it—the Mongols. • At Isidore's apartment, Pris tries to convince Isidore that the bounty hunter is a group hallucination brought on by schizophrenia. • Hm, Isidorethought something must be up. After all, it's not like the government hires people to go around killing others, unless you count outsourcing. • Roy comes in and explains the alarm uses a Penfield unit that will send any human intruder, and Isidore for that matter, into a blind panic. • That clinches it for Isidore: they're androids. • He says he doesn't care though. The human race hasn't treated him very well either, and he wishes he had their abstract intellect. • Pris notes Isidore is special indeed.

  7. Chapter 15 • The androids vote on what to do with Isidore. Baty says they should kill him, but the other two decide to make their stand in the apartment building with Isidore's help. • Elsewhere, Rick quits work and heads to animal row. He buys a female, black Nubian goat. • When he gets home, he brings Iran to the roof to show her their new animal. • Iran is, in a word, stoked. • Not only does this cure her depression, but she wants to join with Mercer, so she can share her joy with everyone using an empathy box. Rick, you've earned that "#1 Husband" mug this day, friend. • Downstairs, Rick tells Iran about his newly formed empathy toward androids. • He says he understands Iran's distaste for his job and that he'll look for a new one in the department. • The vidphone rings. Bryant is on the line, informing Rick that they have a lead on two of the remaining three andys. They've fled to an apartment building. • He wants Rick to finish the job as soon as he can while Rick wonders if he can do anymore today. • Rick takes Iran's place at the empathy box, but instead of merging with Mercer, he comes face-to-face with the guru. • He asks Mercer what he and the empathy boxes are for. • Mercer replies it is to show "'that you aren't alone. I am here with you and always will be. Go and do your task, even though you know it's wrong" (15.110). • A rock nails Rick, and he releases the handles. Iran asks him what happened, and he tells her Mercer gave him a revelation he already had. • Realizing he's in trouble, Rick calls Rachael to ask for her help. She initially refuses but agrees to meet him at the St. Francis Hotel that night.

  8. Chapter 16 • In the hotel room, Rick reads the poop sheets on the remaining androids and wonders if androids dream. Shmoopers, we have a title. • Rachael enters the room, sporting a bottle of pre-war bourbon. She takes a look at the poop sheets, notices something, but decides to open the bourbon rather than elaborate. • Rick asks what upset her, and she informs him one of the three remaining androids is the same model as her. • She says she feels a sense of identification with this Pris android, not to mention a tiny bit odd hunting someone who looks exactly like her. • Rachael asks Rick if he knows why she came. He answers that it's to observe his test and report back to the association. • She argues that she can't go anyhow as she's drunk. (While we're here, what is it with future civilizations building machines with substance abuse problems? Like, a programmer had to take the time to actually program that in, right?) • Rachael begins to undress and tells him about an item in her purse. • Rick retrieves it. It's a device that puts an android into catalepsy for a few seconds. She says it might just save his life. • Rachael calls him to bed, but Rick says he can't because later that night he'll have to retire Pris. • She says that if he goes to bed with her, she'll retire Pris. • Deal. Rick crawls into bed.

  9. Chapter 17 • Afterward, Rick and Rachael are driving in his hovercar. Rick admits he'd marry her if it was legal, which is one of the worst proposals ever (but not theworst). • Rachael tells Rick to not look so sad; after all, he'll no longer be able to hunt android bounties. • Rick is confused at first, but then Rachael explains that no bounty hunter has ever been able to hunt after sleeping with her—well, expect for this one cynical guy named Phil Resch. • Rick has his light-bulb moment; it's another TRAP!!1! • Rachael explains that she knew all of the escaped androids. • Rick is all, I'm going to kill you and all your friends … although he does wonder if he can really go through with Pris. • He also realizes why Resch was as warped as he was: Rachael is cold as ice. • Deciding he can't follow Resch's example, Rick does not kill Rachael but heads back to the St. Francis to drop her off. • Rachael turns on the radio, saying the Buster Friendly show will be very important tonight.

  10. Chapter 18 • Pris sends Isidore to pick up her stuff while the androids huddle around the television to watch Buster Friendly and his Friendly Friends. • Isidore feels useful for the first time in his life, although he does wonder if there is a hint of exploitation in the relationship. Um, you think? • He finds a spider. This is a super-big deal because spiders are supposed to be extinct, and this little guy didn't get the memo. • Isidore rushes upstairs to show his roomies what he found. • Pris takes a look at the spider and thinks maybe it doesn't need all those legs to get around. Irmgard suggests they cut off four, since this species is clearly being greedy in the legs department. • Isidore begs them to stop, but his pleas fall on deaf circuitry. • On television, Buster Friendly is in the middle of his exposé, showing proof-positive that Wilbur Mercer is an actor and his world a bunch of sound-stage fakery. • Irmgard says this means empathy is just an empty concept with no reality behind it. • She then helps Pris cut off the spider's remaining legs, proving that a spider can indeed walk on fewer than eight legs, albeit awkwardly and (we suppose) with tremendous pain, but proving it nonetheless. • Isidore is in shock, and Pris believes this has to do with the revelation that Mercer is a fake, not even considering the spider. • Isidore snatches up the spider and drowns it in the sink. • He then goes into a depressed rage, breaking everything in the apartment while hallucinating that the word is crumpling around him. • He discovers the mutilated spider crawling across his foot. With the spider alive, Isidore realizes that Mercer must be near. • Sure enough, Mercer arrives, and Isidore asks if he really is a fraud. Mercer admits that he is a phony but says it really doesn't matter because, after all, both he and Isidore are still here. • He hands Isidore the spider, but now it has all of its legs back. • The alarm sounds, pulling Isidore out of his dream/hallucination/revelation/we don't know what it is. • The bounty hunter has entered the building.

  11. Chapter 19 • Isidore realizes he has a grip on the empathy box handles. • Pris sends him into the hall to confront the bounty hunter. Isidore goes, still gripping the spider Mercer gave him. • He heads into what was once the apartment's garden terrace and sets the spider loose. • A flashlight beam shines on Isidore, and a man asks Isidore why he released the spider. Isidore responds that if he returns with it, the androids will cut it up again. • The man says androids do that and introduces himself as Rick Deckard. Surprise! Yeah… it was fairly obvious. • Rick asks Isidore to show him where the androids are, but Isidore refuses, warning him that he won't be able to fuse with Mercer if he goes through with his task. • Rick heads down the hall. Mercer appears to warn him that an android is on the steps. • Rachael appears and appeals to Rick, but he notices she isn't quite Rachael. When she dashes toward him, he fires. • He hurries down the hall, and his gear picks up the androids' signal. • He knocks, pretending to be Isidore. The door opens. • Roy takes a shot at Rick, missing and losing his legal right to a Voigt-Kampff test. • Rick enters the apartment, and when Irmgard tries to take a shot at him, he retires her. Then he shoots Roy. • On his way to his car, Rick warns Isidore not to go in and look. • Isidore tells him he's already seen what remains of Pris.

  12. Chapter 20 • On the vidphone, Bryant says he'll send a patrol car to pick up the bodies. • Isidore tells Rick he's moving into town where there are more people. Rick offers an apartment in his building to Isidore, but Isidore says he doesn't want to live near him. • At home, Iran tells Rick that someone threw their new goat off the roof. And that's not a euphemism. • The woman she describes is a fit for Rachael.

  13. Chapter 21 • Rick lands the hovercar on a dead hillside. He tries to call Dave Holden, but the hospital nurse says he's in no condition to take calls. • Rick walks up the hillside, feeling defeated in some vague way. • Rocks crash down on him, striking him hard. He believes he sees Mercer before realizing it's his own shadow. • Afraid for his life, he rushes back to the hovercar. • Inside the car, he takes a hit of snuff and calls Bryant for someone to talk to. • Bryant's secretary, Ann Marsten, answers the vidphone, saying he looks like Wilbur Mercer. • She tells him he's obviously overexerted himself and needs rest. • Rick explains his illusion of becoming Mercer on the hill, stating that Mercer isn't fake unless reality is. • After hanging up, Rick goes to call his wife when he suddenly notices something outside the car.

  14. Chapter 22 • Rick finds a toad, one of the most important animals to Mercer and long thought to be extinct. • He grabs a box from his car and captures the creature, becoming the most excited person ever to catch a toad. • Geography Snack: In Chapter 21, Rick says he's somewhere near the Oregon border (21.42). Then, the narrator mentions that he travels 700 miles south to San Francisco (22.12). This means he must be near the Washington-Oregon border since the California-Oregon border is much closer to San Fran (roughly 350 miles). Guess Portland didn't fare too well during World War Terminus. • After flying back, Rick excitedly shows Iran the rare find, but she fumbles around with it and finds its control panel. It's electric! (We waited as long as we could before linking to this joke). • She wonders if she shouldn't have told him, but Rick is glad to know. • It doesn't matter to him. He says, "The electric things have their lives, too." (22.30). • He agrees to go to bed and set the Penfield mood organ for long-deserved peace. • Iran stays with him to make sure he doesn't wake up with night terrors as he sometimes does. • After she's confident he's asleep, Iran calls the electric animal repair shop. • She orders a repair on the toad. As she tells the repairmen, "I want it to work perfectly. My husband is devoted to it" (22.59). • Then she fixes herself a cup of hot, black coffee.