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Authors: Alan Dean Foster

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Back in the relaxation lounge it took him only a moment to program the autochef. While he waited for his food, he slumped down into one of the chairs scattered around the domed chamber. Around him water and imported organisms and plants, all carefully landscaped to create a naturalistic refuge in the middle of a space-bending starship, blended into a harmonious and soothing whole.

The scent of pomegranate, clove, and vanilla drew his attention to the most recent additions to his sanctuary. An artificial breeze drew flute music from one of the unique saplings. Vermilion leaves fluttered slightly in the ship-generated draft. The plants he had been given by the inhabitants of Midworld had rooted firmly and were doing well in the company of those brought from other worlds. No reason why they shouldn’t, he thought. Plants were plants, even those hailing from as exceptional a place as Midworld.

A soft musical tone announced that his food was ready. Ravenous, he dug in with more energy than he had felt in days, occasionally picking out a choice morsel to pass to Pip. As he ate, he considered the future. Tse-Mallory and Truzenzuzex had promised to look after Clarity until he could return for her. Meanwhile, in addition to his search, he now had the members of this coldly fatalistic yet dangerously capable Order of Null to worry about. How extensive was their organization? How many of them were there, and what resources could they command? Had others been monitoring the
Teacher
’s flight? Would they assume he and his two suicidal captors had plunged into the cleansing furnace of Nur’s sun?

He had spent most of his life forced to constantly look over his shoulder. It seemed nothing had changed. At the appropriate time he would deal with the Order of Null just as he had dealt with everyone else who had sought to enlist, use, study, or kill him. Just as he would eventually figure out what had eliminated his unwanted homicidal visitors. Had they fought and somehow managed to strangle each other?

He was far too exhausted to ponder the mystery now. Perhaps after breakfast, and then dessert, and maybe his first true rest in days uninfused with counterfeit contentment.

Almost at his feet, a pair of tendrils growing from the base of one of his most attractive and recently imported plants twitched slightly. Concealed by exotic leaves of blue and vermilion, the movement went unnoticed either by Flinx or the minidrag resting on the arm of his chair. Connected by, entangled with, and a part of the singular world-mind known as Midworld, the decorative vegetation on the
Teacher
was not about to allow the key to the only chance of stopping an immense oncoming cosmic evil to be terminated by a couple of zealot humans. And the remaining live human on board
was
the key. The vast roiling, sweltering, fecund greenness knew that as emphatically as it knew itself.

The sentient flora of Midworld knew good dirt when it found it.

BY ALAN DEAN FOSTER
Published by The Random House Publishing Group

The Black Hole

Cachalot

Dark Star

The Metrognome and Other Stories

Midworld

Nor Crystal Tears

Sentenced to Prism

Splinter of the Mind’s Eye

Star Trek
®
Logs One–Ten

Voyage to the City of the Dead

. . . Who Needs Enemies?

With Friends Like These . . .

Mad Amos

The Howling Stones

Parallelities

THE ICERIGGER TRILOGY:

Icerigger

Mission to Moulokin

The Deluge Drivers

THE ADVENTURES OF FLINX OF THE COMMONWEALTH:

For Love of Mother-Not

The Tar-Aiym-Krang

Orphan Star

The End of the Matter

Bloodhype

Flinx in Flux

Mid-Flinx

Flinx’s Folly

THE DAMNED:

Book One: A Call to Arms

Book Two: The False Mirror

Book Three: The Spoils of War

THE FOUNDING OF THE COMMONWEALTH:

Phylogenesis

Dirge

Flinx’s Folly
is a work of fiction. Names, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

 

A Del Rey
®
Book

Published by The Random House Publishing Group

 

Copyright © 2003 by Thranx, Inc.

 

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.

 

Del Rey is a registered trademark and the Del Rey colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc.

 

www.delreydigital.com

 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Foster, Alan Dean, 1946–

Flinx’s folly : a Flinx & Pip novel / Alan Dean Foster.

p. cm.

1. Humanx Commonwealth (Imaginary organization)—Fiction. 2. Flinx (Fictitious character)—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3556.O756F57 2003

813′.54—dc21 2003052288

 

 

eISBN: 978-0-345-46990-8

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BOOK: Flinx's Folly
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