The visitor, making his way unobserved through the crowded main
laboratory of The Hill, stepped up to within six feet of the back of a big Norwegian seated at an electrono-optical bench. Drawing an automatic pistol, he shot the apparently unsuspecting scientist seven times, as fast as he could pull the trigger; twice through the brain, five times, closely spaced, through the spine.
“Ah, Gharlane of Eddore, I have been expecting you to look me up. Sit down.” Blonde, blue-eyed Dr. Nels Bergenholm, completely undisturbed by the passage of the stream of bullets through his head and body, turned and waved one huge hand at a stool beside his own.
“But those were not ordinary projectiles!” the visitor protested. Neither person—or rather, entity—was in the least surprised that no one else had paid any attention to what had happened, but it was clear that the one was taken aback by the failure of his murderous attack. “They should have volatilized that form of flesh—should at least have blown you back to Arisia, where you belong.”