Second Variety

out of the gun, licking around Rudi.

“Major, this is the Second Variety.”

Tasso swept the curtain aside. “Klaus! What did you do?”

Klaus turned from the charred form, gradually sinking down the wall onto the floor. “The Second Variety, Tasso. Now we know. We have all three types identified. The danger is less. I—”

Tasso stared past him at the remains of Rudi, at the blackened, smouldering fragments and bits of cloth. “You killed him.”

“Him? It, you mean. I was watching. I had a feeling, but I wasn’t sure. At least, I wasn’t sure before. But this evening I was certain.” Klaus rubbed his pistol butt nervously. “We’re lucky. Don’t you understand? Another hour and it might—”

“You were certain?” Tasso pushed past him and bent down, over the steaming remains on the floor. Her face

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