BLND. - Freak Inside
Martin receives information indicating Laura may be alive. This is confirmed when he finds Laura's wedding ring, where she had flushed it down the toilet but it had failed to flush. He travels to Chloe's nursing home, posing as a detective, and learns that Chloe's "nephew" has just visited. Laura, disguised as a man, is also at the nursing home, and barely misses encountering Martin. Martin discovers Laura's whereabouts and learns about Ben. He trails the couple to Laura's house and breaks in while she and Ben are outside. Laura notices the small clues Martin deliberately left inside the house, the hand towels being perfectly aligned and the contents of the kitchen cabinets rearranged to Martin's exact standards.
BLND. - Freak Inside
"That other side of me is still inside of me, and I'm still comfortable with it," she said. "But I had to give it up, quit singing and touring, if I wanted to get anywhere as an actor. People can only take one side of you at a time, I guess."
She wondered aloud whether she would ever have been taken seriously as an actress if it hadn't been for Robert Altman, who cast her in the Broadway production of "Jimmy Dean" because of a freak telephone call.
"I had gone to New York to study acting," Cher remembered. "I had tried and tried, and nothing happened, and nothing happened. They couldn't see beyond my singing. They assumed I had absolutely no talent." She laughed. "You don't know the half of it. Anyway, I had an appointment with Joe Papp, and my mother called to see how I had done. She accidentally dialed Altman's number instead of mine. My mom and Altman's wife are old friends. Altman was asleep when the phone rang, and he was kind of angry: 'Cher? What in God's name would she be doing here?' Then when he figured out it was my mother, he asked her to send me around for a play he was auditioning. I called him up and said I didn't have a Texas accent inside my head at the moment, and I wasn't good at readings, and a lot of other excuses, and he told me to come over, anyway. Sandy Dennis was there. She told me later I gave the worst reading she had ever heard. But Bob thought I could do the job. Once I could throwaway the script and act, I found that I could do it, and enjoy it."
The story switches between the viewpoints of a number of characters. Among the most significant are: Marguerite Hauser, head scientist at Eyeball Alley
Ray Scutter, her control-freak ex-husband
Tess Hauser, their Oracular Urchin daughter
Chris Carmody, a disgraced journalist with a martyr complex
Subject, an alien being observed by the facility
This novel provides examples of: 20 Minutes into the Future: No specific date is given, but it can be inferred to be about 2047 based on an offhand comment in the narration about My Favorite Brunette being a century old.
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Posited as a possible fate of the former inhabitants of HR8832/B.
Black Box: The O/BEC processors were created by accident due to the use of self-rewriting code; not even the scientists who operate them are quite certain how they do what they do. There are only two in existence; all attempts to make a third by replicating the conditions that led to the first two have failed.
Bowdlerize: Marguerite name-drops Bowdler during her speech on language.
Brown Note: Discussed as a possible reason for the information lockdown
Cargo Cult: Not a major part of the plot, but the Crossbanks Starfish inspires some cults
Driven to Suicide: Chris wrote a muckracking book about a man who subsequently committed suicide. Chris blames himself.
Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Subject. Part of a deliberate effort not to anthropomorphize the aliens.
Lockdown: Of the entire town, with not even communication allowed
Naming Your Colony World: Goes the "Numbers and Letters" route with HR8832/B and UMa47/E
Red Shirt: Bob, who dies mere pages after his introduction to prove the danger of the situation
Sanity Slippage: Ray becomes more and more unbalanced as the lockdown continues
Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Ray tells Marguerite that their joint-custody arrangement for Tess was crafted by lawyers outside of Blind Lake, who they can no longer contact. Inside Blind Lake, he is the law.
Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Marguerite complains that, in their attempts to maintain a neutral scientific perspective and avoid mistakenly anthropomorphizing the aliens, they've been reduced to this; for instance, having to say "Subject ingested a bolus of vegetable matter" when they mean "He ate a plant".
Touched by Vorlons: Tess. And Subject could be considered to be "Touched By Humans".
Villainous Breakdown: Ray, during his speech about the O/BECs