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“What do you call this spell, anyway?” asks Rob, a little repulsed.

“Extract of ariolimax columbianus, Vittles,” says Salem. There’s less venom in his voice now: blow-drying the slugs seems to calm him. “And ‘snot a spell. One of your pharmacos will catch on in five years, but for now it’s our secret…”

Rob has his doubts about its efficacy, but Salem’s demonstration knocks them out as quickly as it does his victims. He snaps a pinch of powdered slug into the air and waits: seconds later, a big man in a kerchief walks through and sleeps face-first into the wall.