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By Walter Jon Williams

Aiah labored for the Plasm Authority, metering the shimmering substance that powered the world-city, till she fell in love with Constantine, the insurgent Metropolitan scuffling with a struggle to overthrow the corrupt dynasty of the Keremaths.

Now the warfare is over, and Aiah is on the mercy of Constantine, the tyrant she created. As sexually impossible to resist as ever, the previous insurgent has a brand new task for Aiah: music down the outlaw plasm divers of Caraqui and recruit them to assist wreck the Silver Hand, a murderous remnant of the outdated kleptocracy. A reluctant Aiah unearths herself operating with a frightening best friend -- the "hanged man," Taikoen, a once-human monster that lives within the plasm good, leaving it in simple terms to kill. yet for Aiah, there should be no turning again. Constantine's struggle opposed to the Handmen will positioned Aiah in contact along with her misplaced Barkazil history. And it will possibly permit her to get a glimpse of heaven itself, and to find what waits past the Shield.

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In alternate for this little kindness to me. ” the subsequent hours are lengthy certainly. executive TO promote around the globe information carrier INTERFACT AND THE twine thought of most likely dealers through paintings shift tomorrow Great-Uncle Rathmen has surfaced in Gunalaht— “perched like a vulture over his financial institution accounts,” as Constantine feedback. Constantine is on his approach to a cupboard assembly and Aiah walks alongside beside him, relocating speedy to take care of along with his lengthy strides. “I’ve bought Sorya’s report,” he says, “concerning the obligation officer who sabotaged the airlock mechanism and propped the doorways open to permit a thread of plasm to go into. And the opposite guards on watch obeyed his orders to maintain the doorways open, even supposing they need to have recognized how harmful it was once. ” “Timing was once crucial,” Aiah says. “You can’t go away a plasm sourceline simply sitting there in a jail for hours. This should have been prearranged, and intimately. ” “By Rathmen’s attorney, we presume, in addition to the obligation officer. ” A wry smile touches Constantine’s lips. “The responsibility officer can't be stumbled on, and is most likely both on the backside of the ocean of Caraqui or sitting subsequent to Rathmen atop a brand new checking account in Gunalaht. And the legal professional, we're advised, is ‘unavailable’— a good suggestion, when you consider that below martial legislations shall we confine him to Rathmen’s previous cellphone and seek his brain for facts of guilt. ” He offers a sigh. “And not anyone will think this was once now not via prearrangement of the govt.. not anyone. ” Aiah appears at him. “Was it? ” He stops lifeless within the hall, and a considerate frown creases his forehead. “Who? ” he wonders. “Who might do any such factor? ” “I’ve been pondering that. Rathmen’s interrogations have been virtually entire. we've adequate to blackmail him into cooperation fifty instances over. loose, he can be of use passing info directly to, say, one among our intelligence companies. ” She doesn't are looking to point out Sorya via identify, yet she discovered it extraordinary that Sorya should still individually are looking to keep watch over the research into what in the end was once in simple terms a jail breakout. Constantine considers this for a second, calculation seen in the back of his eyes. “I don't locate your idea fullyyt persuasive,” he says, “but i'll discover the probabilities. and that i imagine ... ” He pauses for a second. “Rathmen is condemned to death,” he says eventually. His expression turns not easy. “Perhaps the sentence might be performed despite his present position. it can do a lot to right any misguided impressions this get away can have created. ” Aiah thinks approximately this. “Dangerous,” she says. “Taikoen,” Constantine says. the only observe, spoken softly in Constantine’s resonant voice, turns out to vibrate within the air for a very long time. Aiah feels a palp of chilly horror contact her neck. “No,” she says immediately; after which, simply because she has to justify this intuition, says “No” back. “Too dangerous,” she provides. “It will be remarked. We don’t wish Taikoen identified, or perhaps rumored. ” He supplies her an equivocal glance. “I wouldn't as a minimum order such a unprecedented sanction by myself authority ... Drumbeth, not less than, must concur, even though i cannot inform him the skill.

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