Gornack the Deconstructor was at his most disappointingly un-evil when he sat down opposite Spied’jjer Merdokk in Strojen’s Foodhole about a month later. Merdokk was resplendent in some sort of multicoloured suit that was obviously high fashion somewhere, but the older Molran was plain, inoffensive and unembellished.
“Well, I have a lucky streak,” the Spider said, pushing a First Bank credit chit over the table. The figure embedded in it was just over seven million yachut. “Which I suppose means you have one, too.”
“Seven hundred million isn’t bad for something nobody could use on the basis that it would immediately incriminate them,” Gornack said, pocketing the chit with a lower left hand that shook just a little.
“No, it’s not,” Merdokk said agreeably, “but of course I did better than that, and am cheating you outrageously. Would you like a zolo? It’s excellent here.”
“No thank you.”
“Then I’ll say farewell.”
“One thing still bothers me,” Gornack said, as the young criminal opposite him prepared to leave. “You had twenty-seven frames, all of them with seven engines. With that many engines, you could have fitted them all onto the Sphere and fired it out of there to wherever you wanted to go. No matter how many of them burned out in the process, you’d never have lost them all. There was no need to go through all that elaborate rigmarole, fitting out all those decoys, and certainly no need to hire me.”
“But if I hadn’t hired you, I never would have found out what an excellent deconstructor you are,” Merdokk replied, and stood up. “Nor would I have the opportunity to see how good you are at keeping secrets.”
And with a final jovial salute, the Spider was gone.