Now she was under closer scrutiny, as a genetic relation to the renegade super-genius. A few other clones like the Swift Killer existed, and no one could look at them without speculating on what traits they might share with the Betrayer.

What you need, the Swift Killer thought, hefting a massive gun attached to her arm, is a monster hunter.

She stood on a motorized raft, clad in body-hugging armor, gleaming white and nearly invincible. Her hair was pinned up, although in battle, her head would be masked by a helmet. The huge glove that encompassed her arm could shoot down transports and tanks, not just charging beasts. It would deliver missiles.

No one had needed an anti-tank weapon since the early days of Torth expansion.

The Upward Governess didn't care what ancient armory the Swift Killer had sifted through, but she grudgingly admitted to a little bit of respect. Experts estimated that the Giant's raw power might be greater than that of his catastrophic forbearer, Jonathan Stead. Missiles were prudent.

What is the most likely hiding place for the Betrayer? the Swift Killer demanded. You knew him better than anyone. You can approximate where he went, and with My enhanced muscles and power suit, I can search any region quickly. Let's team up and get rid of this threat together.

The Upward Governess had run a mental simulation of what factors the Betrayer might consider. I have millions of Torth searching every plausible place, she assured the Swift Killer. The Giant and the runaway guard are both too big for most caves and ummin hideouts. Their options are limited.

The Swift Killer's look of consternation would befit the face of a primitive, or a slave. If I were a renegade super-genius... She began to imagine her own conjectures.

For one thing, she doubted the Betrayer had ever left this city. She imagined him creeping through slave Tunnels, subsisting on the charity of foolish, easily manipulated slave gangs, until he could train the Giant to wreck his way through the spaceport. While the Giant battled a Torth army, the Betrayer would steal a high-speed streamship and escape the planet with loot and slaves.

They'll worship him as their god, the Swift Killer guessed. She adjusted her anti-tank gun. You ought to replace all the slaves in your city, so they can't secretly aid Our renegade.

The Upward Governess allowed herself a small sigh. She wasn't going to replace every slave in her city. Such a huge project would negatively impact her quality of life. Besides, she couldn't imagine the Betrayer setting himself up to be worshiped, or leaving the Giant behind to die. His own success had never seemed to be a high priority for him.

You could be wrong, the Swift Killer taunted. Anyhow, you don't seem useful. She shifted her weight on the raft, preparing to leave. I suppose your help doesn't matter. If you fail, We'll simply evacuate this planet so We can pound the surface with thermonuclear explosions. That will kill any renegades or Yeresunsa in hiding.

When the Upward Governess imagined her beautiful city ruined, vaporized in a nuclear mushroom cloud, along with the province she governed ... she had to temporarily drop out of the Megacosm because of a flash of fury.

How dare the Betrayer endanger her home. How dare he threaten her life and everything she had ever worked hard to achieve. He deserved death.

You cannot guess his whereabouts? The Swift Killer watched for a reaction.

The Upward Governess began to collate everything she'd absorbed from millions of hunting parties, and run comparative analytics. The Betrayer would do his best to erase clues, but he couldn't control everything his friends did. If there were any hints, anything at all anomalous, then she would winnow it out.

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