Nightmare Blue by Gardner Duzois

Nightmare Blue by Gardner Duzois

Author:Gardner Duzois [Duzois, Gardner]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Published: 2012-10-19T16:44:29+00:00

Chapter Six

“To hell with the whole thing!”

Karl Jaeger smacked the silver head of his walking-stick angrily into his palms, then tapped it against the edge of his desk. “This damn business has finally upset me. I’m annoyed. I am very annoyed.”

Hans Weissmann fidgeted, looked concerned. “Was the damage to your apartment very great?”

“No.” Jaeger made an impatient gesture. He had related to his friend most of the details of the events that had occurred the evening before. He had left out all mention of Nati, however, especially the disturbing fact of her forced employment by Schiller. Along with the entire Aensa situation and the problem of his own survival, Jaeger was faced with finding Nati a source of the blue drug. At the moment, all these things added together to make a circumstance too overwhelming for Jaeger to confront alone. But he had to work alone; he knew it and, with supreme reluctance, he accepted it. Still, he didn’t have to like it.

“Well,” said Weissmann, “for the record, and for the insurance claim, and for tax purposes, if you made an evaluation—”

Jaeger cut him off with a quick swipe of one hand. He could hardly believe that such things could be going on in the same world with the difficulties he was facing. “One wall and the windows blown out,” he said. “Smoke damage to the furniture. My paintings and the books weren’t badly damaged. The Dark Lightning was unhurt. It was really nothing. I spent the rest of the night with, ah, with a friend. But—”

Weissmann smiled patiently at his friend’s tirade. “What did the SEPG have to say last night?”

“Wasn’t much they could say. I told them it was a malfunctioning solar accumulator that exploded; I can’t get the SEPG involved in this business.” He laughed in rather nasty delight. “They didn’t think much of my story, but there wasn’t much they could do about it; my name carries at least that much weight, these days. Besides, they couldn’t really figure it out otherwise. That’s all right with me.” Jaeger smiled ruefully. “That’s one of the reasons for my foul mood this morning. I hate to admit that this whole deal doesn’t make sense yet. By now, I ought to be getting a clearer picture. But something or somebody is doing a very good job at holding me up. I keep hitting roadblocks, no matter which route I try.” He rubbed a finger along his nose and frowned, Why would Schiller first try to have him killed, and then try to have him interrogated? It ought to have been the other way around. No, it wasn’t his imagination, thought Jaeger. There still wasn’t any logic in it.

Herr Stahl entered, stood stoop-shouldered at the edge of the desk, and blinked. He looked down uninterestedly at Jaeger. The big man smiled back encouragingly and waited for Stahl to respond. Stahl said nothing. Jaeger shrugged his shoulders and handed Herr Stahl a folded piece of paper. Herr Stahl lazily unfolded the paper, glanced at it.


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