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the streets, men below the windows, several on the roof. All were told to stay out of line of sight and let their surveillance equipment do the watching for them. Once he felt secure, he waved Paul over.

"I'm going in unarmed, to talk to him. I'll do my best for your family, I swear."

Paul just shook his head. "We should hurry," he said. "I told him I'd be back."

He positioned two teeps and two normals at the base of the stairs, then let Paul lead him to the lift. There were eight of them in all: Paul, Garibaldi, Thompson, Bjarnesson, another teep named Davis, and three special-ops policemen armed for bear.

He tried not to pause when they reached the door and the others took their positions. Then, screwing up his courage, he knocked.

"Who is it?" A woman's voice.

"Police Inspector Girard," he answered, in a loud voice. "I'm unarmed. I'd like to talk to Alfred Bester, please."

A pause of several heartbeats followed before she answered.

"Come in."



Chapter 13



"The door is locked, madame," Girard said.

"I can't come to the door," the woman replied.

"It's a trap," Garibaldi hissed. "Break it down."

"I would rather use Monsieur Guillory's key."

"Oh. Yeah. Well, if you want to be lazy."

"Don't follow me in," Girard warned. He took the key and opened the door.

Guillory's wife and child sat on the couch, watching them.

"Monsieur Bester, I wish to speak to you," Girard called. He didn't see Bester anywhere. "I am unarmed, but there are armed men in the hall and surrounding the building. I want to come to some accord that will settle this without any more violence."

"He's gone," the woman on the couch said.

"What? Impossible. And if so, why didn't you answer the door?"

"He told us not to."

"But if he isn't here.
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