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Clair pulled Jesse away from the body.

"Why did they do this to him?" he asked her. "Who are they?"

She knew as little as I did. Neither of us had an answer for him.

The airship rose hugely over her, forty metres across. Its downwash flattened Clair's hair across her scalp and whipped Jesse's mop from side to side. Broad fans whirred in its underside, where the camouflage couldn't quite protect every angle. An oval crew compartment with square windows hung under the main airbags. Someone was waving from inside.

Clair answered my patch.

"I hope I did the right thing this time, Clair."

"You did, but we've got a lot to talk about, Q. About Libby and the dupes."

"Yes, Clair. I will tell you everything, when I can. I promise."

The airship touched down. A hatch opened. Ray and a man Clair hadn't met before stepped out of the interior and loped toward her.

"You get him aboard," Ray told her, indicating Jesse. "We'll get the body."

I understood. Evidence.

"Come on," Clair said, taking Jesse's hand. "It's time to go."



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