"I work for Master Caravello, you void. Didn't you wonder how someone who looked like your virtual twin just happened to show up at the most convenient time for your little scheme?"
"But I thought…"
"You thought nothing. You saw what you wanted to see because it suited your greedy needs. Master Caravello's, uh, agents had been onto you for weeks. Did you really believe that only that buffoon of an overseer made use of the sneaky-eye drone? The fool was too lazy to even keep tabs on the likes of you."
"But the explosion?"
"I tossed the prod down the nearest flume; made the blast sound bigger than it actually was. As for the fire, I stayed below the sludge and swam to safety."
Simikus slumped deeper into his seat, shaking his head slowly. It was all over, probably quite literally.
"Now what?" he mumbled. From the corner of his eye, he saw Rudof gesture to Algensio. The Vamir circled around the desk and took hold of Simikus with three of his four arms, lifting him to his feet and holding him in place.
Caravello said, "I'm afraid you destroyed some of my employee's property. He wants compensation. I'm sure you won't object."
Ograd stepped closer and Simikus saw that he was holding a medical tool. It looked all too familiar.
"By the way," Ograd said, "my name really is Wilfor Kudisi. But now that my name is registered with your palm print, I'm afraid I'll need more than just a finger."
Simikus Giff stood in the waste deep sludge of Omega Station's Wayamr sector sewage treatment plant, more miserable and dejected than ever.
The crackle of the overseer's prod snapped him from his miserable trance just an instant too late. The prod jabbed into the small of his back and the electric charge dropped him to his knees, allowing the filthy mire to splash against his face.
"Pick up the pace, Neek. Half as many hands means you gotta work twice as hard to meet your quota."