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“It’s a ripoff, to begin with,” says Calidone. “They get seven people out there so it doesn’t sound like twenty-one shots, it sounds like three very loud ones. Second, they’re not firing at anyone, so it’s a pretty empty form of revenge. Finally, they use the M1 Garand, right? First infantry-standard rifle in the world. Beautiful weapon, the M1. It’ll put a ball round two feet into soft tissue and you know what they load it with? For your last salute?”

Ertanax doesn’t answer. Calidone knocks pipe ash into the hole in Ertanax’s head.

“Blanks,” he says sadly. “Blanks.”