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was hatched.
Sansilly opened the door and scurried round the chair to stand at Greygen s
shoulder. He looked up at the men who came surging in, Pusnall and his
Purgemen, some of them unwilling to meet his eyes, others glaring at him to
emphasize their authority.  What do you want?
 Why d you take so long to get that door open? Pusnall didn t wait for the
obvious answer, but jerked a thumb at Sansilly.  You. Show us your kitchen and
your food stores.
Greygen drove the chair against Pusnall s knees with one powerful shove,
grabbed his wrists, and jerked him down till they were nose to nose.  My
wife s name is not You. You will call her jama Lestar.
He let go, wheeled himself back, and waited.
Pusnall smoothed his sleeves and the red went slowly from his eyes.  I don t
fight cripples, he said.
 Take the Lestar woman to the pantry. Keep him here. He looked at Greygen.
 We ll be watching you.
Sansilly slammed the bar home.  Good riddance! she whispered; she wouldn t
answer Greygen s questions, just wheeled him into the bedroom, made him let
her help him into bed as she had all the years since the accident. She poured
a glass of water, looked at it, and started crying.
Greygen lay quiet until the outburst calmed, then he said,  What was it,
Sansy, what did they want?
Sansilly drank the water, set the glass down with a sigh, and came into the
bed.  I had to tell them where ev-ery grain of anything came from, she rubbed
at her eyes,  what shop I bought it from, how much I had.
She curled her fingers tight against her palms. Greygen turned on his side,
closed the small fists into his hands and held them.
 That proggin Pusface told me after this I had to have receipts for any food
I bought, because they were gonna check again and if l had more, either I
was hoarding or in with the traitors and I d be dumped in a dungeon
and left to rot. Her nostrils flared.  Then he ate the bit of tart I was
saving for your
lunch, just stared at me, daring me to say anything.
 Pek! One thing after another. Greygen twisted onto his stomach,
danced his fingers over the squares of wood set into the bedstead; what
looked like decoration was a puzzle lock and opened a small cavity in the
post. He took out the com, tapped in the call sign.  Spider one to Valk, come
on, man, wake up.
 Valk s not back yet, this is Spider six. Go.
 Ravach s Purgers, they re hittin this warren, checking food supplies,
writing down everything in the chest. Pusnall was in here fifteen minutes ago.
We re all right, but if you can, get the word out to the other warrens that
Page 51
ABC Amber Palm Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abcpalm.html
the ones who got it should cache the extras. If the same thing s happening
everywhere, get the cut-outs away fast as you can, won t take the Purgers long
to spot the food and find out who passed it on. We ve got to keep the Web
clean. Go.
 And stuff Valk down a hole. I ll tell  em. Out-.
Greygen slipped the com back, clicked the panel in place.  It s going to get
tougher, Sansy.
She lay beside him, her head turned away.
 What is it, Sansy?
 Don t leave me out of it this time. I m not stupid. This is my home, too.
He reached round, cupped his hand under her chin, turned her head toward him.
 It isn t a game, Milachika.
She caught hold of his arm, dug her fingers into the muscle.  You DO think I m
 Nik, it s just that I don t know what to say. He freed himself and lay
staring at the shadows on the ceiling, his fingers laced behind his head.  How
many women do you know you d really trust? I mean, if it meant ... um ... the
boys were going to live or die. As he watched Sansilly s mouth twitch and her
eyes start dancing, the tension flowed out of him.  I know what you re
thinking, chika. Nik, not Myzah.
She nestled against him, giggling. Then she sighed, her breath warm against
his ribs.  More than you know, Greg. I ve been turning this over and over in
my head since they started pressing men into the army. She gig-gled, her body
jiggling softly beside him as she pushed away the hand that was teasing at
her.  I m serious, Greg. Maybe it s  cause I m Harozh and things are diff rent
up there, but seems to me you re wasting good people just  cause they women.
She caught his wrist.  I mean it. Next time, get us into the warehouses, let
us stow the food and see it gets passed around. And there s some who d do more
if they had a little teaching. Like Jasny. She slid her hand along his, held
his fingers against the side of her face.  She lost her husband in the gritz
war, the Glory people are talkin  bout takin away her rooms, sendin her
south  cause her girl was one of the sekalari they purged, and her boy, he run
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