By John Scalzi
The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to satisfy us and to start humanity’s first interstellar friendship. There’s only one challenge: They’re hideously grotesque and so they scent like rotting fish.
So getting humanity’s belief is a problem. The Yherajk want anyone who might help them shut the deal.
Enter Thomas Stein, who understands whatever approximately final offers. He’s certainly one of Hollywood’s preferred younger brokers. yet even if Stein can have simply concluded the most important deal of his occupation, it’s really one other factor to barter for a complete alien race. To earn his percent this time, he’s going to wish all of the smarts, talents, and wits he can muster.
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A girl walked along now that made him take notice. Black hair, pretty, cruising slow; she wore an open midriff blouse and denim white pants washed a lot. Hey, I know her, he thought. That’s Bob Arctor’s girl. That’s Donna. He pushed open the car door and stepped out. The girl eyed him and continued on. He followed. Thinks I’m fixing to grab-ass, he thought as he snaked among the people. How easily she gained speed; he could barely see her now as she glanced back. A firm, calm face … He saw large eyes that appraised him.
Should he give the dog away for the dog’s own comfort? No, he decided: the dog was now, inadvertently, infected, and would carry the bugs with him everywhere. Sometimes he stood in the shower with the dog, trying to wash the dog clean too. He had no more success with him than he did with himself. It hurt to feel the dog suffer; he never stopped trying to help him. In some respect this was the worst part, the suffering of the animal, who could not complain. ” his buddy Charles Freck asked one time, coming in during this.
But in practice the cost was out of reach. Also, those who had invented it and were making it available sold it too cheaply for effective competition. And the wide distribution suggested that even though a sole source existed, it had a diversified layout, probably a series of labs in several key areas, perhaps one near each major urban drug-using spot in North America and Europe. Why none of these had been found was a mystery; but the implication was, both publicly and no doubt under official wraps, that the S.