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Author Archive: "Nick Harkaway"

The Florist-Assassins

The three men lit up in my mind's eye, with footnotes. They were converging on me — and on the object I was carrying — in a way that had woken some sort of angry territorial lizard in my head. Something about the pattern of their approach, the vectors and the way they would all reach me at exactly the same time, was predatory on the most primal level.

I am fundamentally a gentle sort of person, so I was a bit surprised to find that a part of my brain was working out which of them needed to die first and how to make that happen. Lists of "dangerous parts" I learned long ago were highlighted up and down their bodies as they drew closer, each target point carrying a sense of difficulty versus efficacy. Everyone thinks a blow to the groin is the fastest way to end a fight, but it's unreliable. The target is small, mobile, and well-guarded, and you have to be close in to hit the mark. Worse yet, a minority of men respond to that particular agony with a great surge of ...

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