By Iain M. Banks
Count number Alandre Sessine VII has already died seven instances. He has just one lifestyles left - one final likelihood to trap his killer. His simply clues element to a conspiracy past his personal homicide. For a disaster is quickly imminent the earth from which there's no break out - until eventually a loophole via apocalypse is came across. And a selected few will do something to maintain it a mystery. somebody has betrayed Sessine, killed him ahead of he may discover the reality. Now he has 3 days earlier than his funeral to stay the way in which males used to dwell: constrained to at least one lifestyles the place one mistake may be his final. without warning he reveals himself an outlaw, a fugitive, a desperado. And his simply desire of survival is discovering others like himself. Others who carry a bit of the puzzle to an enigmatic weapon of salvation and chaos...
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I trigger 2wards thi neerir 1. I woz stil merely dresd in ma yewshil cloavs & this wind woz makin me shiver olredy, yet then it were really hot furthir down so mayb it woz juss thi suddeniss ov thi swap. I wokd alongside thi gallery, btween thi silooetid babil & thi smoov ashlar ov thi towr's slightly curvd wol. Thi floar felt coald through my shooz & I wishd I had a hat. Thi kript startid 2 get a section vaig & unhelpful approximately thi structure ov thi fass towr @ aroun this levil. I juss had 2 hoap thi piller mite ½ a collection ov stares in it. It didn. It had 2 units ov stares in it, intertwynd in a dubil heelix like deenay. Didn look 2 mattir whitch 1 I took. I startid climein. I went fass @ furst 2 test & hot up yet thi bref juss wissld outa me & my legs turnd 2 jelly; I had 2 take a seat & poot ma poundin hed btween ma nees b4 I cude continu, moar sloly. Thi steps went roun & roun & roun; pretti steep. I ploddid on & up, tryin 2 settil in2 a rithim. This seemd 2 wurk yet I woz gettin a hel ov a hedaik. Luky I woz healthy, now not 2 menshin determind. (Not 2 menshin bludy silly, it woz startin 2 okur 2 me. ) Thi piller acquired 2 thi subsequent storey - anuthir opin gallery - & didn cease; it went on up. Seemd 2 cross on four an outstanding methods but so I stuk wif it. Thi stare case had no handrales & tho it woz an excellent cupil ov metirs large it wude ½ been friteninly open & uncovered on thi outir aspect if thi babil crops hadent bin hangin growin ol over thi open air ov thi towr. because it woz it woz stil prity friteninly exposd on thi uthir facet, yet thi most sensible ring 2 do woz no longer 2 fink approximately it & sertinly now not 2 luke. I stored climein. Anuthir levil. My hed woz hurtin lyk mad. I luked four thi piller however it wozent thare eny moar. Insted ther woz a hoal community ov twistid pillers, weevin this manner & that wif hi-alt babil - skinny weedy stuf - ol ovir it, coatin thi floar ov thi galery, nettin thi weev ov thi frettid stoan wol. I wandird, my toes trippin ovir thi babil, lookin four a strand ov stonework wif steps in it or on it in order that I cude cross hier, my vishin gettin darkish @ thi edjis, my legs feelin bouncy & unusual & sumfin howlin in ma eers that mite ½ bin thi wind & mite now not. I doan no how lengthy it woz b4 I foun thi spyer, fallin amungst thi babil, ded, crumplid, head shattered, epidermis dried, white bones pokin via his neepads. I take into accout lukin up & finkin he needs to ½ follin from thi opin-wurk seelin, & I observed his masks & thi cylinder on his bak yet I simply wanderd off agen, feelin like I woz wokin alongside this tunil coz that woz ol I cude c & it seemd like ours layter whereas I woz stil serchin four anuthir stareway or @ leest a doar or sumthin that I thot, whats up, mayb I cude yoos thi spyers geer! & I startid 2 flip roun & nearly tript ovir him bcoz identification wanderd in a sirkil. Ther woz previous brown blood dried on thi faice masks however it fel away like darkish dandruf while I nokd it. Thi oxijin in thi tank wos coald & it felt love it waz freezin ma lungs yet my hedaik startid 2 cross & I wozen lukin down a tunnil ol thi time no moar. I finishd thi watir in his canteen, took his jaket, hat & torch & left thi terrible buggir lyin thare.