By Roger Zelazny
Conrad Nomikos has an extended, wealthy own heritage that he'd fairly now not speak about and a task he'd relatively now not do. Escorting an alien grandee on a journey round a shattered post-nuclear warfare Earth isn't really anything he relishes, particularly while he turns into primary to an intrigue making a choice on Earth's destiny.
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Without doubt an exaggeration. yet you appear to recognize much approximately it. How thick is your dossier on Myshtigo? " "Not very, now not but. " "It turns out that you just hate him greater than you hate every body else. Is that precise? " "Yes. " "Why? " "He's a Vegan. " "So? " "I hate Vegans, is all. " "No, there is extra. " "True. -You're really robust, you recognize? " "I recognize. " "In truth, you are the most powerful individual i have ever noticeable. powerful adequate to damage the neck of a spiderbat, then fall into the bay at Piraeus and swim ashore and feature breakfast. " "Odd instance you could have selected. " "Not so, probably not. Did you? " "Why? " "I need to know, want to know. " "Sorry. " "Sorry isn't more than enough. speak extra. " "Said all. " "No. we want Karaghiosis. " "Who's 'we'? " "The Radpol. Me. " "Why, back? " "Hasan is part as outdated as Time. Karaghiosis is older. Hasan knew him, remembered, known as you 'Karaghiosis. ' you're Karaghiosis, the killer, the defender of Earth-and we'd like you presently. Very badly. Armageddon has come-not with a bang, yet a checkbook. The Vegan needs to die. there's no substitute. aid us cease him. " "What do you need of me? " "Let Hasan smash him. " "No. " "Why no longer? what's he to you? " "Nothing, fairly. actually, I dislike him greatly. yet what's he to you? " "Our destroyer. " "Then inform me why, and the way, and maybe i will provide you with a greater resolution. " "I cannot. " "Why now not? " "Because i do not recognize. " "Then strong evening. that is all. " "Wait! i actually don't know-but the note has come down from Taler, from the Radpol liaison there: He needs to die. His e-book isn't a ebook, his self isn't a self, yet many. i don't understand what this implies, yet our brokers have by no means lied prior to. you've gotten lived on Taler, you have got lived on Bakab and a dozen different worlds. you're Karaghiosis. you recognize that our brokers don't lie, since you are Karaghiosis and also you validated the spy-circuit your self. Now you listen their phrases and also you don't heed them. I inform you that they are saying he needs to die. He represents the top of every little thing we now have fought for. they are saying he's a surveyor who mustn't ever be authorised to survey. you recognize the code. cash opposed to Earth. extra Vegan exploitation. they can now not specify past that time. " "I'm sorry. i have pledged myself to his safeguard. provide me a greater cause and perhaps i will offer you a greater resolution. -And Hasan attempted to kill me. " "He was once advised basically to forestall you, to incapacitate you in order that shall we smash the Vegan. " "Not more than enough; now not more than enough, no. I admit not anything. pass your methods. i'm going to omit. " "No, you want to support us. what's the lifetime of one Vegan to Karaghiosis? " "I won't countenance his destruction and not using a simply and particular reason. to date, you have got proven me not anything. " "That's all i've got. " "Then solid evening. " "No. you will have profiles. From the appropriate aspect you're a demigod; from the left you're a demon. one in every of them can help us, needs to support us. i do not care which one it's. " "Do now not attempt to damage the Vegan. we'll shield him. " We sat there. She took one in every of my cigarettes and we sat there smoking. "… Hate you," she acknowledged after a time.