All rights belong to the author: Charles Eric Maine.
This is a short fragment for review the book. The full version can be purchased in the store.

Charles Eric Maine WORLD WITHOUT MEN

Author’s Note

This is a story of science and the abuse of science. The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily held by the author. All characters, organizations and situations described in the book are obviously fictitious. The product named “Sterilin” is not intended to represent or relate in any way to any similar type of clinical product, if such there be, manufactured anywhere in the world at any time. All references to parthenogenesis are technical in intent, with no mystical implication whatever.

Part One The Man

I

At precisely nine o’clock the ultrasonic alarm sounded inaudibly in the bedroom. She awoke instantly and reached for the cup of hot coffee that had been delivered a few seconds earlier via the catering chute that connected her bedside table with the Central Provisioning Depot. She sipped the coffee, yawned a little, stretched languidly, then rose to face the routine of another day.

The bath was ready, with the water perfumed and preheated, and she immersed herself lazily, taking care not to splash her cropped black hair with its fresh coating of silicone varnish. In three minutes the detergents had cleaned the surface of her body, silently and invisibly, but she lingered on in the water until the advancing finger of the wall clock warned her that time was running out.

Back to the bedroom, and into a short white skirt and white sandals, then over to the long oval mirror beneath the sunglow lamp of the room. She examined her features critically. She was handsome enough in the tradition of the day. Her skin was smooth and burnished to a roseate bronze sheen, and the whites of her eyes had been stained green to contrast with the limpid brown of the pupils. She was not more than twenty-seven. Her name was Aubretia.

She studied her lips pensively, then selected the white cosmetic spray from the beauty table, and presently the pink bow shape of the lips became snow-white—to match her skirt Her hair was satisfactory; the silicone varnish had been applied only three days ago and was good for another week. She wished sometimes that she had white hair, like Aquilegia; but then everything about Aquilegia was white, for she was an albino, and her pink eyes were the envy of every woman in the city.

The silver lacquer on her flat, atrophied breasts had worn thin in parts, but it would do. Later in the day she could visit the Beauty centre and have fresh lacquer applied — perhaps even a change of colour. Silver was clean, but there were times when it resembled armour

Satisfied with her appearance, she putthe thick, purple collar around her neck, then pulled the snake-chain that dangled from it. The collar unrolled like a blind, dropping around her body to her ankles, veiling her in the fine gloss of a purple satin cloak She was ready to cope with another day’s work.

The time was nine forty-five, time enough to walk the four blocks to the tall, columnar building of the State Biophysical centre. She turned towards the window, glancing briefly over the colourful spires of the skyline, glowing mystically in the morning sunshine. The thousands of seven and eight o’clockers would be there already, working and supervising in the slender buildings of the city; and the nine o’clockers would be picking up the threads of the day’s executive duties; and soon the ten o’clockers, the administrative officials, would be arriving to keep an alert eye on the plans and schedules of the vast labour organization.

She left the apartment, descending to street level on the high-speed spiral escalator, then walked briskly with the other women wearing the authorized purple cloak of officialdom towards the parallel row of skyscrapers that housed the government offices.

The room had a sliding glass door bearing the legend: Press Policy and Administration. Inside was colour and warmth and effeminacy: a large desk with slender legs, a dainty ivory table supporting an ornate crystal bowl of the newest kind of flowers that had been grown in phosphor nutrients so that the pentals glowed in luminous hues, graceful padded chairs, oval mirrors, and an arched window with stained glass panes in a variety of dilute rainbow colours. It was a woman’s room in a woman’s building in a woman’s city.

Aubretia entered the office with a distinct sense of repose, almost of homecoming. The sensation was to formula, of course. It was part of the applied psychology of labour ad ministration. Domestic apartments tended to be functional and austere while offices and factories were generally as comfortable and luxurious as applied science could make them. The result was increased productivity.

She pulled the snake-chain on her purple cloak. Immediately the garment coiled itself into a compact collar encircling her neck. She removed it and hung it on a peg behind the desk.

The pilot lamp on the memory bank unit was flashing green. She sat down and pressed the control button with a slim finger, then concentrated on the crisp impersonal voice of the recorder as it intoned the news messages of the night.

General release,

said the voice.

Opening of new I. P. centre.

A brief pause.

Today at thirteen hundred hours the Mistress of Biogenetics will officially open the new I. P. centre at Lon South. The centre will specialize in the application and development of the latest techniques in the science of induced hetero-parthenogenesis with the object of increasing the variant factor of derivative types, which is not at present possible with normal auto-parthenogentic methods.

Ten seconds of silence.

Electroscan pictures and detailed technical handouts will be distributed via authorized news agencies within twenty-four hours.

A long pause.

The memory bank unit whirred and clicked, and a sheet of paper bearing a printed transcription of the message was deposited on the desk.

Restricted release,

announced the voice a moment later.

For professional distribution to institutions and organizations in economic, financial, biogenetic, mortic and related ids: The government, following its recent biennial survey of mortic revenue assets, has decided to authorize an increase of two and a half percent in live parthenogentic births during the next two years as a preliminary to a statistical revision of the personal mortic tax assessment figure in the light of improving economic conditions.

General release will follow in four days.

Another pause — another sheet of printed paper.

General release:

Entertainment news from Femina News Agency. State actress Butterfly II will star tonight in a video dramatic feature concerning the love of two adult women for a young albino girl whose parthenogentic double becomes involved in a criminal attempt to…

And so it went on, the usual small talk that passed for news, always with the accent on parthenogenesis and, curiously, albinos. Signs of the times, Aubretia thought. After all, in a world where the majority of women were almost mirror images of each other there was a certain irrepressible fascination in albinos — if only because they were different. A phantom image of Aquilegia hovered momentarily in her mind. Aubretia suppressed the inevitable emotional response almost before it had formed. Time enough to think about Aquilegia later in the day — in the long warm evening — but for all her resolution she spared a moment to acknowledge her pleasure and gratitude that she should be on such terms with an albino.

And as for parthenogenesis, either in its auto or hetero forms there was barely a single news item that did not refer in one way or another. It was one of the fundamentals — like eating drinking and cremation, and it seemed sometimes as if the government were deliberately over-emphasizing the importance of parthenogenesis in society. On the whole it was an unsavoury subject. No woman voluntarily sought childbirth, either by natural or induced methods, and when it came it was invariably an ordeal to be under gone in the course of duty and for the sake of mortic allowances.

The voice of the memory bank droned on unheeded, and the sheets of printed paper piled up on the desk. In due course she would have to filter the news reports and pass them via the respective channels to the press and broadcasting agencies concerned. But the day was young, and there was still time to sit and dream in inactive idleness.

The monitor buzzed shrilly on the desk. She switched off the memory bank and keyed the intercom.

“Aubretia Two Seventeen,” said the monitor. “Gallardia Nine Fifty would like you to go down to the Biophysics Lab Annex right away, please.”

Aubretia thought quickly. The woman known as Gallardia was Senior Cytologist in the Department of Physiology, a thick-set woman of square face and contact lenses over her yellow-stained eyes. A competent scientist, she had a cynical twist in her brain. What on earth could she want with the Press Policy Department?

“I’ll be right down,” Aubretia answered.

The Annex was four storeys below, on the eighteenth floor of the Biophysics building. It was a small room adjoining the large laboratory, and it contained part of the equipment store together with a small refrigerated mortuary bank. In the laboratory itself a great deal of research into the physiological basis of parthenogenesis was carried out, and the Annex was frequently used for specialized experimental work related to the field — the dissection of women, for instance, who during life had shown symptoms of aberration from the parthenogentic norm.

Gallardia was waiting for her at the main door to the laboratory. Her square face seemed a little oblong, as if her chin had dropped with excitement.

“Ah, Aubretia!” she said, simmering. “You handle news.” Aubretia contrived to smile politely. “I don’t handle it.

“I vet it.”

Gallardia retracted her chin, and her face became square again. “Well, then, I’ve got something sensational for you to vet. This way.”

She led the way through the laboratory to the Annex. Aubretia noted briefly the long benches and the glass and chrome apparatus and the technicians — some of them only young girls in their teens — wearing the approved-patten, transparent plastic overalls. They continued into the smaller cube of the Annex, with its racks and shelves and cupboards and, in the centre of the floor, an adjustable operating table with a sheeted body.

Gallardia placed a proprietary hand on the centre of the body and regarded the other woman with an air of restrained triumph. “What would be the most fantastic event you could imagine?” she demanded

Aubretia spread out her hands non-committally. “That’s hard to say. A woman from Mars, perhaps?”

“Nonsense. We know there are no women on Mars.”

“From outer space, then.”

“No, no. That is fantasy. This” — she thumped the shape under the sheet — “is fact!”

“I really haven’t the slightest idea.”

“Then take a look.” Gallardia drew back the sheet, revealing a white waxen head and shoulders.

“She’s got a lot of hair,” Aubretia observed. “Peculiar face too. Kind of hard. Ugly.”

Something caught her eye. She leaned forward quickly and inspected the dead face. “I could almost swear…”

“What?”

“More hair here, around the chin… like stubble.”

Gallardia drew back the sheet a little further. “And on the chest,” she pointed out.

Aubretia retreated in mild revulsion.

“No breasts,” Gallardia went on, “Only nipples of a rudimentary character.”

“Then who is she? What’s happened to her?” asked Aubretia, wide-eyed.

With a conjuror-like sweep of her arm, Gallardia removed the sheet altogether, revealing the full length of the naked corpse. “There!” she stated with evident satisfaction.

Aubretia was only conscious of certain grotesque detail. Her stomach seemed to contract and her abdomen to twist up inside itself. Her rational mind rejected the obvious explanation. Across a gap of five thousand years it was impossible, yet…

“It can’t be!” she gasped in horror.

“But it is,” Gallardia stated emphatically. “You are looking at a man!”

II

The vaguely horrific image of the man stayed in Aubretia’s mind for the remainder of the day. There was no sense of contact with humanity. Death in itself had created an invisible barrier behind which the corpse was no more than a bleached artefact crudely wrought in human shape, but different enough from womankind to be alien and remote. And with the image was a certain indefinable fear, not of the body in the Annex, but of something more fundamental, something that had to do with herself and Aquilegia and Gallardia, and all the women of the world. The fear was a shadow behind the shape of the man, not fully visible, yet significant in a chill way, darkening the perimeter of her consciousness with a sense of the unexplained.

Back in her office Aubretia struggled to recall Gallardia’s terse description of the discovery of the body, and the anatomical and cytological evidence that proved beyond doubt the incredible fact of maleness. It was necessary to draft a report for submission to the Mistress of Information in the Department of the Written Word. The man was not yet public domain, and it was for the Mistress to determine whether the news could be released to the world.

It seemed that the Fourteenth Arctic Geophysical Expedition, while carrying out a radar survey of the ice layer close to the North Pole, had recorded a strong localized echo at a depth of some twenty-five feet below the surface. Further tests with spectrum analysers had revealed a mass of metal in roughly cylindrical form, pointing downwards at a steep angle into the frozen mass of the polar cap. There were traces of aluminium and beryllium and copper, and, surprisingly, distinct evidence of radioactivity.

Thermonuclear heaters were then used to melt a funnel in the ice, and presently the members of the expedition uncovered the strange object. It was a rocket. This was an exciting discovery, for no rocket had been launched or even made on Earth for more than four thousand years. The earlier groping efforts at interplanetary flight had been quickly abandoned after preliminary radar and video surveys of the moon and the nearer planets by small robot rockets had revealed nothing to justify the enormous expenditure which an attempt to launch manned rockets across space would involve. It seemed more logical to womankind to devote worldly wealth on the development of the Earth and its inhabitants, feminine mind saw neither sense nor sanity in space

But it was part the mythology of history that men had men had taken the problem of interplanetary flight seriously. Nobody knew exactly when, for records were incomplete, but certainly many thousands of years ago. And this strange rocket buried in the polar ice was of a different pattern from those of the abortive rocket era in the age of women. It was straight and slender and functional. There were no little devices or artistic shaping of the hull fittings so characteristic of the feminine designer. A psychologist might have described its shape as phallic in origin, but there were no psychologists in the party, and, anyway, the word had been meaningless for some five thousand years.

The rocket was intact and sealed. It had been necessary to cut through the hull with arc-burners in order to gain access to the interior. Inside a tiny control cabin they had found the body, frozen solid, encased in a metal and plastic pressure suit.

The expedition had made no attempt to strip the body, partly because it was obviously dead, and partly because it was thought that the examination ought to be left to those whose job it was to deal with such matters. In due course the body and certain items of equipment from the rocket were flown back to civilization, where they were passed to the appropriate scientific departments concerned. Not a single woman in the expedition had even suspected that the body might be that of a man, despite the implication of the unfamiliar rocket design. Men were the last thing any woman would think of in this day and age.

The body had been removed from the pressure suit at the Aeronautical Research centre. The suit, it seemed, was of major interest, but the body, clothed in quaint attire which bore no parallel to any kind of wearing apparel in current use, was quickly disposed of by sending it intact to the Department of Biophysics. And so it reached the brusque efficient hands of Gallardia, who soon discovered that she had come into possession of a man, albeit a dead one.

The body was in a remarkably fine state of preservation, probably due to the conditions of burial in ice during thousands of years. But now, no longer in deep freeze, it would obviously deteriorate rapidly unless the usual steps were taken, Gallardia was presumably working on it now, injecting formaldehyde into the veins and performing the preliminary evisceration. She had already made a cytological test of body cells and counted forty-seven chromosomes on the nuclei — positive proof of sex, if proof were needed.

There was nothing in the clothing to identify the man, only a few printed papers in a foreign language that neither Gallardia nor Aubretia could identify, and a gold ring on one finger of the corpse bearing the engraved letters. “R. D.”

All this, of course, was the news story of the year, perhaps of the century. In a world in which the male sex had been abandoned by nature some five thousand years earlier as an unnecessary extravagance of evolution, the presence of a real man, even a dead one, was an item of profound interest. It was a stark reminder of prehistoric days when womankind existed at the level of the animals in the field, before nature had decided that a change was desirable in the mechanism by which the species could be perpetuated. It brought back the days when there were such things as men, now almost legendary creatures of a bygone mythology.

It was as if, for instance, they had found a Cyclops That’s how real and unreal was the man in the Annex.

Aubretia switched on the videophone and dialled the number of the Department of the Written Word. Then she changed her mind and pressed the cancel button. This was something that would have to be discussed on a person-to-person basis. It was too important, and the videophone was too impersonal.

She put on her purple cloak, pulled the snake chain, and made her way to street level.

* * *
“The body will have to be erased without trace,” stated the Mistress of Information. Her eyes were expressionless and her long triangular face was swarthy and serpentine. “There is no need to look bewildered, my dear. I am merely reciting government policy. All human remains identified as male are incinerated without delay.”

“But why?” asked Aubretia, not understanding. “Surely the discovery of… of a man… is a matter of priority news.”

The Mistress of Information shook her head slowly. It was the lethargic motion of a pendulum in the padded vastness of the pastel office. “Please believe me when I say that it has no news value whatever. I am not permitted to explain why. So far as the contemporary world is concerned, the male sex ceased to exist some five thousand years ago.”

“I agree. That is recognized. But surely the body of a man has some historic, some scientific value.”

“None whatever.”

The Mistress of Information stood up and walked idly around the room, making no sound on the thick white pile of the carpet. She moved like a phantom among the slender fragile shapes of the furniture. Occasionally she glanced obliquely at her visitor, but there was no warmth or sympathy in her eyes, only a cold calculating shrewdness.

“There is such a thing,” she said quietly, “as the parthenogentic adaptation syndrome. It has been a reality for five thousand years and it determines the pattern of our life, of our existence. We have to recognize its influence and comply with its requirements in terms of social behaviour.”

“I’m afraid I don’t understand…”

“Then I’ll try to explain, in so far as my terms of reference will allow me. Long, long ago the human race was split into two sexes — male and female — just as are the lower animals at the present day. Sex, of course, is a mechanism designed to achieve perpetuation of the species. More than that, it is a mechanism whose purpose is to produce variants in the species. By random admixture{admixture: the result of interbreeding between two or more previouslyisolated populations within a species} of the differing characteristics of individual men and women, children were produced em bodying composites of those characteristics.

Sometimes they were mutants, offspring bearing new characteristics which had emerged for the first time. The object of this undisciplined intermarriage of eugenic strains was to produce off spring of differing survival capacities.”

“You mean,” said Aubretia, “the survival of the fittest.”

“Exactly. In other words — evolution. The germ cells of both males and females carried the essential physical and physiological characteristics of the individuals concerned in the genes on the chromosomes in the nuclei of the cells. Marriage produced mixture. The chromosomes and the genes were brought together. New permutations and combinations of human anatomy and physiology arose at each birth. Some were more suited to survival than others. In such a way, by natural selection, nature sought to change the form of man, slowly adapting him to his environment.” The Mistress smiled. “You will pardon me in using the word man in the generic sense. I could just as well have said woman.”

Aubretia nodded, feeling rather out of her depth. She was beginning to acquire a new respect for her superior, and wondering just how much of what she was saying was factual, and not merely a recital of governmental viewpoint.

“Natural selection, survival of the fittest, is the simple mechanism of evolution, designed to adapt a living animal to its environment, to ensure survival of the species. But what happens when the animal concerned starts adapting the environment to itself?”

Aubretia said nothing: she had nothing to say.

“Immediately, the evolutionary process of nature breaks down. Natural selection no longer applies. Survival of the fittest becomes obsolete. In fact, survival becomes the prerogative of those who, by wealth and power, can mould their environment to their own liking.”

“All right,” Aubretia murmured. “But what has all that to do with men?”

“There comes a time,” the Mistress stated portentously, “when nature begins to realize that the methods she employs are no longer suited to the conditions which apply. What is the point of producing variants when the fittest no longer survive, when those who survive are not necessarily the fit test? Variation and natural selection become meaningless. Sex as a variant technique becomes useless. Survival is deter mined by artificial factors: the ability to live in congenial surroundings, to buy the best medical aid, to reduce the labour of life by the acquisition of mechanical labour-saving devices, and so on.”

“You talk about nature, but how could nature know?”

The Mistress raised an admonishing finger. “Nature is all wise. Towards the end of the twentieth century, when the development of unlimited atomic power completely negated the process of natural evolution, nature finally came to terms with the human race. Reproduction was still necessary, but variation was a waste of time and uneconomic.”

“But why?”

“Consider: Five thousand years ago the population of the world was half male and half female. A billion men and a billion women. There you have a supreme example of the extravagance of nature.”

“Extravagance?”

“Of course. One man could fertilize a thousand females — ten thousand in the course of a lifetime; yet nature provided an average of one man perwoman. The result of such extravagance was sublimation of unexpended masculine drive in other spheres: war, faster and faster air and ground travel, interplanetary flight. The cosmos itself became a mons Veneris at which mankind as a whole set his cap.”

Aubretia shifted uncomfortably on her chair. The trend of the conversation made her feel uneasy, aroused in her mind the same kind of dormant fear as had been instigated by the visual memory of the man. The whole subject was wrapped in a sinister cocoon of unfathomable mystery.

“I’d never realized,” she said, “that men were so real. What I mean is that men have always been to me — to most women — a kind of legend, a fairy tale, or stories of ghosts and goblins”

“After five thousand years you could hardly expect more.”

“Then why did men disappear so suddenly from the world?”

The Mistress sat down again at her desk, drumming her fingers lightly upon its shining surface. “It wasn’t sudden. It was a slow process. The truth is they were no longer necessary, Evolution had ceased in the human species. Sexual variation was no longer necessary. So nature introduced an economy and eliminated the male sex.”

“But how?”

“By adjusting the ratio of births so that more and more females were born. Eventually there were no male births what ever. And at the same time parthenogenesis developed into a natural function of the female sex.”

“I suppose it’s logical,” Aubretia conceded. “After all, if women can have children without the — the intervention of a male, then there seems to be no point in having two sexes.”

“Exactly. And the beauty of it is this. The female ovum contains twenty-four chromosomes. By parthenogenesis, whether natural or induced, the ovum splits into a normal cell of forty-eight chromosomes: a female cell. It is absolutely impossible to produce a healthy male cell of forty-seven chromosomes by parthenogenesis. Obviously, then, woman is the end product of nature. Man was merely an interim stage incapable of perpetuation other than by heterosexual means. You see, the male gametes were divided into two parts: those with twenty-three chromosomes and those with twenty-four, formed by subdivision of the forty-seven chromosomes in his body cells.”

“I understand now,” said Aubretia. “In order to produce a male child you must have a gamete with twenty-three chromosomes combining with a female ovum of twenty-four. Otherwise the product is always female.”

The Mistress smiled triumphantly. “Exactly. That was the card nature had up her sleeve. The fundamental permanence of the female and the transience of the male.” She stroked her cropped black hair with a long, slender finger. “With the elimination of the male sex the possibility of producing male offspring became nil. Parthenogenesis can only produce females.”

“When did parthenogenesis really start?” Aubretia asked. “That’s difficult to say. There were isolated cases through out the ages. Seven thousand years ago there was a well-authenticated case of a parthenogentic individual called Christ; but towards the end of the twentieth century it in creased immeasurably, and at the same time men died off.” Aubretia considered for a moment, reviewing all that she had learned, “The adaptation you mentioned,” she said. “Where does that fit in?”

The Mistress smiled for the first time, a confident knowledgeable smile. “A sex may disappear according to the dictates of nature, but the endocrine structure of the female body remains the same.”

“Endocrine?”

“The ductless glands — the hormones. They are the basis of emotional feeling. The emotions have not changed, but they have been modified.”

Aubretia pursed her lips thoughtfully. “Emotions I know about, but how have they been modified?”

The Mistress paused for a moment, choosing her words carefully. “Whom do you love?” she enquired.

“An albino woman named Aquilegia,” Aubretia said, with a certain degree of self-consciousness.

“Then it may surprise you to know that there was a time when women needed men, when women loved men.”

“No!” Aubretia gasped incredulously.

“It is true. But during the course of five thousand years an emotional transfer has taken place, from necessity. Now women need and love each other.”

“But surely that is natural. Women are the same; they know about each other.”

The Mistress shook her head sadly. “I’m afraid you remissing the point because you can’t see the point. That is as it should be. An adaptation has taken place, a fundamental reorganization of the emotional architecture of womankind. But perhaps you can appreciate that it would be undesirable, perhaps even dangerous, to introduce a conflicting element. It would be fatal to introduce the idea of man because there is a chance, just the slight chance, that some women might respond to it — those women who have not quite conformed to the emotional pattern of the adaptation syndrome. That is why the male body in the Annex must be destroyed.”

Aubretia remained silent for fully a minute. She was trying to understand things from two independent and divorced points of view. Primarily she was a citizen of a female world, living and existing within a circumscribed pattern of emotional behaviour in accordance with what the Mistress termed the parthenogentic adaptation syndrome; but in addition she was also a woman, and the man still hovered ghost-like in the depth of her mind, hinting at a different level of being beyond her imagination, a level that was simultaneously repulsive and fascinating, that tugged at her imagination and created strange transient sensations in her body that differed in some subtle way from the orgiastic feelings that Aquilegia and her predecessors had aroused.

“I’ll tell you something,” the Mistress continued in confidential tones. “This is not the first man to be discovered. There have been many during the past millennia, hundreds upon hundreds. Some were well preserved, some were mere crumbling skeletons. But they have all been destroyed. The syndrome must be preserved at all costs if the stable basis of modern society is to be preserved.”

The Mistress stood up with an air of finality. “There will be no news release, and I shall make arrangements immediately for the body to be incinerated. As a servant of the government you will, of course, have nothing to say on the subject to anyone. The man is a secret, dead or alive, an obscene secret of ancient history.”

Aubretia bowed understanding, and took her leave.

III

Aquilegia was a woman in high key. She was a vision in pale cream against a background of white. She lived in the top apartment of one of the highest apartment blocks in Lon North and she was lightness itself, like the sky. The rooms of her home were decorated in the palest of pastel hues, and the furniture was mainly of transparent plastic material. In this setting of whiteness and semi-invisibility she was an object of slender fragile beauty, pure in her whiteness and almost intangible in her ethereal albinism.

She was wearing a gossamer gown in spider latex. It was white, in the translucent white of spun glass, but no whiter than the flesh it concealed. Only the nipples were darker under the folds of the garment, smoke-tinted, diminutive, and the body hair was colourless. Her fingernails and toenails were lacquered in silver, and her lips were ivory-white with cosmetic. The pink of her eyes was generously extended by means of suitably matched stain over the entire surface of the cornea, lending her a transcendental air of remote ghostliness. But for all that she was as real and as physical as any woman Aubretia had ever known.

“I don’t know, Quilly. The lab assistants say she left with the mortic people who removed the body.”

“And why are you worried about her?”

Aubretia hesitated. The blue gin was beginning to seep into her brain and coherent thought was becoming difficult. “I think it was the way the Mistress of Information talked, about the need for secrecy, and so on. You know what Gallardia is like; she couldn’t keep a secret for more than ten seconds.” ...


All rights belong to the author: Charles Eric Maine.
This is a short fragment for review the book. The full version can be purchased in the store.