Book One In The Mag Force 7 Series
The Nights Of The Black Earth
Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Shortly after they landed on Laskar, the four men went out and bought a car. They paid cash for it, so Friendly Burl, the friendliest vehic dealer in Laskar, was not fussy about such details as Who are you really? and Where have you come from? Besides, he thought he already knew the answer. Four gray and faceless suits; probably on an illicit holiday; an escape from boss, sig-others, kids.
"You guys planning on being in Laskar long?" asked Friendly Bud of Burl's Friendly Vehics.
Two of the men carried briefcases; none of them carried luggage.
"No," said one of the suits, handing over the requisite number of golden eagles.
The manner and tone in which the man said that single word sucked the "friendly" out of Burl and caused him to revise his original estimate. These were not stressed-out execs. He began immediately and somewhat nervously to count his money. Finding it correct, he relaxed.
"Salesmen, huh?" Bud ventured. He winked knowingly. "Or maybe not selling but dealing?" The men did not answer. They put their briefcases in the Car. Unusual. Like everything and everyone else in the sin-soaked city of Laskar, rental cars tended to lead brief, albeit exciting lives