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The inquest for the original accident has now come and gone. Ballard has been cleared of all charges and accidental death has been returned. But the transformation in Ballard's thinking stays. He is now having regular car fetish sex with Helen Remington, who herself is taking a new job in the Road Research Laboratory.
Six hundred yards behind us the traffic waited on the raised deck of the motorway, the afternoon sunlight crossing the windows of the airline buses and cars. My hand moved around the outer curvature of Helen's thighs, feeling the open zip of her dress. As these razor-like links cut my knuckles I felt her teeth across my ear. The sharpness of these pains reminded me of the bite of the windshield glass during my crash.
Their encounter in this chapter is detailed, precise and very specific with both of them following a kind of ritual. Many juxtapositions and images flood his mind at the height of his ecstasy.
This small space was crowded with angular control surfaces and rounded sections of human bodies interacting in unfamiliar junctions, like the first act of homosexual intercourse inside an Apollo capsule.
Finally he notes that over many encounters, the transformation has become complete with both of them now fully associating sexual acts with cars, motorways and the accident. They try to have sex in Helen's house but she is distant and Ballard cannot get an erection. How much farther can this go? We move towards the midway point with the mysterious Vaughan waiting in the wings.