Stotz and Morgus are united in one last ditch attempt to turn this muddy, bloody clusterfuck into profit. But Stotz hangs back.
“Let’s get a couple of things straight,” he says to Morgus. “An hour ago you were the boss. Now that’s all changed. Now you’re the same as me. Just a man with a gun.”
“I, the same as you?” demands Morgus imperiously and incredulously, “I’m Morgus, I’m descended from the first colonists.”
But his arrogance is either habit or bafflegab. They both know this. And they both know that Morgus needs Stotz to show him the way to Jek’s stockpile. And they both know that more spectrox can be carried by two men than by one, working equally. And they both know that, once this is done, they will be superfluous to each other.
“If we do happen to come out of this with any spectrox,” Stotz continues, “there’ll be none of that ‘four points for you, one point for me’ business. This time we split it right down the middle. Agreed?”
“Of course,” says Morgus. So Stotz leads the way. But they both know that soon, one of them will be dead.
This is the world they have made, and it is crashing down around their ears. For Morgus, ‘four points for him, one point for the little guy’ is the definition of society. One guy carries it, Morgus takes it; that’s how the world works. Until now. For Stotz, there’s a boss at every level. Inside his gang, it’s him. Higher up, it’s Morgus, or someone like him. Until now.
As it happens, Jek will be the end of both of them… but this will only happen because he gives himself away by turning on a fan to keep a feverish, dying woman cool. He once wanted her for her ‘beauty’. It’s fairly clear that he intended, eventually, to rape her. But, riddled with spectrox toxaemia, she’s not so desirable anymore. Yet he wants her to stay alive. For him, lonliness and narcissism and hate and self-pity have always been his ruling passions. Until now.
Of course, this is a tragedy, so it’s already too late for him. And it’s only right that it should be because, just as much as Morgus and Stotz, he made the world that is now about to kill him.…