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The Cold Man

The Ad Hoc is deadly calm, switched down to conversation. The Cold Man remembers them as harsh and robotically terse, but this one’s voice is like butterscotch.

“Your attributes are both unique and essential to the operation,” it purrs, “and it’s known that your fidelity has an excellent return on investment.”

“Th-think ab-abou-ab-at-about i-it?” He manages. “G-gotta pi-p-p-piss.”

It nods like a drinking bird.

In the bathroom, thinking fast, the Cold Man drops his gaze from the wall to the urinal. The bulbous head of its pipe-cap doubles his reflection, makes it reversible: one trunk, two heads, like a playing card.