By Diane Duane
In an alternate-world la, prosecutor/psychic Lee Enfield and her companion, Gelert, examine the homicide of an elf. They quickly demonstrate a perilous community of ties between equipped crime, multinational organizations, and planetary governments of the Seven Worlds--all operating jointly at the "ethnic cleansing" of elves from the trade international of Alfheim.
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You are slipping. " Lee smiled a bit. "Heads up, he is on," Mass acknowledged. The commwall went vibrant with the view into Charl Hagen's workplace. this would were unsuitable for a view of the outside, for Hagen used to be relatively "old administration" in what used to be now the most important of the telecomms multiuniversals, and Lee remembered her astonishment at studying that the witness she were dispatched to interview had not just a woodland in his place of work, yet a trout circulation. immediately solar used to be pouring during the rooftop glass of the conservatory part of Hagen's workplace, and the guy himself used to be coming round from at the back of the table. "Lee. Gelert. thank you for calling. " "No challenge at all," Lee stated, taking a look Hagen over non-judicially for a moment as he sat at the entrance of his table. It have been six months now because the finish of the Xainacom antitrust trials, and Hagen appeared rather less harried, had wear a bit weight—though it did not exhibit that a lot on his big-boned six-foot-two. He used to be good became out as consistently, in a trendy one-piece swimsuit that still be-trayed its off-the-rack origins and its wearer's too-busy-for-fittings angle, taking a look as though a person had utilized it to Hagen with a shovel. The darkish shaggy hair and the little, close-set, considerate eyes within the man's blunt face regularly made Lee ponder whether Hagen had any Midgarthr blood in him, and even if the human seeming could be a courtesy-cover-ing over whatever extra uncomplicated, a proper swimsuit allowed to fall away for brief sessions while the Moon used to be correct. "It's been a bit while," Hagen acknowledged. "You been o.k.? " "Busy," Gelert acknowledged. Hagen grinned, and back Lee observed undergo, and needed to placed the picture apart. "Here, too," Hagen stated. Lee nodded. on the finish of a felony case lasting years, Xainacom were pressured right into a substantial company divesti-ture within the Earth universe. the reality was once that the defeat for the corporate was once a minor one—the industry in Earth's uni-verse being not anything just like the measurement of these in Xainese domestic house, unfold throughout hundreds of thousands of planets—and whilst the appeals procedure used to be exhausted, the "home workplace" hadn't thought of the affair worthy going to battle over. Xainacom Earth were fractured right into a variety of still-huge com-munications- and media-related businesses, and people of its opponents who had spent mammoth sums of cash helping with the prosecution have been now circling the extraordinary sur-vivors with a watch to both absorption or destruction. Of the entire opponents, ExTel was once by means of a long way the largest, and it was once losing no time assuring itself of the easiest pickings one of the divestitures. Lee may perhaps think that Hagen, because the com-pany's CEO for extracontinual affairs, have been much more than "busy. " "We obtained a choice from Matt Carathen simply now," Lee stated. "He instructed that you simply had requested for our prone. " "That's correct. Omren dil'Sorden is one in all my neighborhood peo-ple. i haven't got time for a few nameless flunky at Parker to mess around round with it and perhaps get a outcome, possibly not—I wish this factor wiped clean up ahead of it will get high-profile sufficient to make the company's PR humans need to begin spin-ning God is aware what to the nationwide press.