". . . not to be?"
There is no screaming when the Spectrans come for you.
You have no warning - no strange shadows, no neighbours see anything, no noises where none should be.
You offer no fight -- no alarms are tripped, no glass is broken, no locks forced, no hair torn out, no fingerprints smudged, no blood splattered. Your coffee cooled on the table, unsipped.
Someone saw fit to turn the stove off.
They are professionals. Nothing is taken. Except you. You did not cry. And you did not scream. When they came for you, you simply ceased to be.
And you may never be again.
One does not understand the power of Gone until it happens to you.
Death is conclusive, indubitable, irrefutable. We would have proof -- forgive me, forgive me, my dears, you know I do not mean it that way, but it is the truth -- we would have proof of the tyrant's existence. And you know that I would make it my life's mission to requite your loss.
With Death, people can rally to you, give their condolences, share your outrage. You can rally people around the dead. People understand it. But what do you do for people who are just gone? People melt away from you, lest it prove contagious and they too dematerialise.
Someone said: But give them what they want then. They didn't understand -- this is no kidnapping. There are no negotiations to be made, no ransoms, no promissory notes of good behaviour that one can sign.
It bites, it bites like a nest of vipers, to have your own advice thrown in your face. Be a man. Accept that gone is dead. Move on. It's one call away and my men are on Riga -- they need me. One call: report of these circumstances is proof enough for Anderson. We can act on it. We act and they, my dears, *will* be dead. But we can't not act -- I myself would die rather than have that happen.
<<Have you what we need?>>
"In a manner of speaking."
<<We don't have a lot of time, Colonel.>>
"It's not time that I need, my friend."
<<Then what do you need? . . . Colonel? Cronus? Are you there? Tell me, what do you need to get the tapes?>>
"I need.. ." Gone is not dead. For that evil man's own sake, it had better not be. "I need a distraction."