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Florentin looked both ways in the darkened hall and saw a plant stand nearby that would make a good bludgeon. He stepped closer to it. The inspector didn't react. "Can you imagine Inspector, what crime-fighting will be like once everyone understands Vanity's Mirror? That chaos and anarchy you were telling me about? How can you chase a criminal back in time? How do you make jurisdictions?

"How do you prosecute a crime that's been uncommitted?

"What possibilities there are when every crime becomes victimless, and the criminal becomes a vague shadow in your rulebook?

"Imagine the sweetest, youngest flowers I can have here. I can eat anything! Do anything! Be anything!"

"!"

He snatched up the plant stand and charged at the shadow, swung low, aiming at the torso. A solid blow. With the impact, he felt a shattering pain in his gut and Florentin, last of the glass people, cracked open in the middle. Great ropey vines tumbled out of his stomach, touched and veined with tropical flora. They tangled around his ankles and tripped him to the ground, kept pouring out. From his knees, Florentin gathered them in his hands, great armfuls, because they were important. When too many to carry came out, he began stuffing them in his mouth. It would be okay. He just had to find an unbroken mirror—the shards of this one were going through his knees. There was a mirror in his hotel room, not far away. He crawled, and cried out, "Oh God Ven! The world, it never ends! The world never ends! The world—!"

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