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8935889

>>8935879
>he raised one thin arm and stepped out of the shadows, waving the poly on, while tracking him with the specs and the snub nose of the pistola from beneath his cloak. a few minutes later, he'd closed the 50 meters between them with a bounding stride and was examining the tube nervously in the light of the poly's lamp. he handed over the agreed sum and ruffed the misshapen head, not seeing Murgo's sullen, embarassed glare at the familiarity. he tucked the tube safely away and asked about the factor who'd been carrying it: he'd bribed several layers of secretaries in the office of a prominent autocrat to get the information.
>he'd discovered a lone factor, the black robed priests of Aglaia and all the known cities, hand carrying a small container of medicine: nothing out of the ordinary about the ministrations of a country factor, seeing to the thetes and polys working the fields. but this factor was from off city, lately of Plataea. the information that Nicodeem had paid so dearly for was this_the factor had arrived from Plataea, but not before the Vaan attack that burned the city to ash and sent its people scattering. this factor had arrived secretly, after the Vaan had taken the city and sent it spinning upwind, into the starved altitudes where they flitted their twisted lives; never touching solid ground except to raid and burn.
>but what Nicodeem had ferretted out, was a plot, scarcely believable, that the factors themselves let the plague run rampant on Aglaia, the better to weaken it and put the city of Ithaca on the rise. if his informers were right, the serum was destined for a secret clave of factors hidden in the wilds outside the city, and was proof from the spore infection which followed every encroachment by the luetic creatures.



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