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*****


Prologue


Evil – we have categorized it, documented it; given it names like psychopath, pedophile, sadist, et cetera. We have gathered, labeled, alphabetized, organized, and placed the information neatly into folders to be logically placed in vast filing systems. We have even made excuses for it, and on rare occasions, forgiven it. This all eases our civilized sensibilities. We no longer need to look at it squarely in the eye, nor take up arms against it. After all, we convince ourselves there is no such thing as pure evil.

But not everyone is so civilized, not everyone follows the rules and laws of society. Sometimes, to destroy evil it takes something equally dark – a selective malevolence that will do what others will not, or can not do. Not necessarily from a sense of justice or retribution, but a need for its existence; perhaps even its very soul.


*****


It was a large, run-down bar, in a rusting spaceport, on a tiny moon, orbiting an insignificant planet. The patrons were all manner of scum – drug dealers, pimps, pirates, murderers, and thieves. Various alien races were represented here, from the small and furry to the huge and nightmarish. To the human eye, one could pick out features of insect, reptile, even mineral.

It was one of the most obscure locations on the outer rim of our galaxy, and few of the alien unkempt patrons had ever seen a human; those that had, had only experience with the one sitting alone in the corner of the bar.

The dark figure sat at a small, round, choaka-wood table, hunched over his drink. Dressed all in black, he looked like a seated shadow in the darkest corner of the large, square room. His back was to the wall, and from this vantage point, could see all that came and went without the possibility of anyone approaching him from either side or behind – a practice that had long become instinctive to him. He wore a leather duster-like coat that came down to his ankles. On his head he wore a wide-brimmed, leather hat with its outer edges slightly curved down to further obscure his lowered face. His clothes made him appear out of place both in terms of location and time, whether on Earth or in this little back-mining system that appeared on few star maps.

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