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"

"Look-"

"No, you look. You aren't an officer of the law, Monsieur Garibaldi. You are just a man with an unhealthy obsession and far too much money, who thinks he's a cowboy from the American West. We'll do this my way. Period."

"What's your way?"

"I go in with Paul, alone and unarmed. I explain to Bester that he's surrounded-"

"Oh, give me a break," Garibaldi said, rolling his eyes. "He'll just take one of them hostage. Or maybe you."

"He already has them hostage. He won't get far if,he tries to leave with them."

"But with the element of surprise-"

"Now you give me a break. We haven't surprised this man yet, and despite assurances all around, I'm not confident he can be surprised. My way. If he isn't amenable to reason, then you can do what you wish."

"This is a bad idea."

"Right now, my men outnumber yours ten to one, even if we include the telepaths, who don't seem to know who they're working for anymore. I can have you arrested again, and I won't make the same mistake they did. I'll have you hauled down to the station and held until this is all over. Understand?"

Garibaldi was a man who was used to getting his way, but that had been a relatively recent development. Deeper than that, beneath the veneer of the rich tycoon, there was a man who had spent most of his life following orders. He nodded reluctantly. "I still think it's a mistake."

"So noted. But that's how we're doing it."

"Your funeral, buddy. And it probably will be."

Girard smiled ruefully. "I just have this image of you and Bester-one man made of matter, the other of antimatter. If I let you rush into that room..." He shook his head. "I won't let that happen."



* * *



Girard checked to make sure everyone was in place. Snipers in the apartments across
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