Russian Dolls
Sergio Gaut vel Hartman, Argentina
Axxón 129 -- August 2003
Translation: Daniel W. Koon

      A little man with small hands was walking towards me with hesitant steps. He interrupted his walk and stood silent for a minute, stiff, as if he had forgotten the next line in his script. Right then I realized that there would be serious communications issues. At 3:30 a.m. I have no time for bullshit.
      “Strange,” he finally said. “I’ve been dreaming about you.”
      “Don’t bother me,” I replied. I lit a cigarette.
      “I know this wears you out,” he insisted. Then he returned to his dark silence.
      I overheard the thoughts of a woman doubled over in the balcony of a neighboring building: “I’ll do it for money.”
      “I have the means to pay, whatever it costs,” the man said. “I don’t care about the money. I can pay any sum. They’ll pay anything, as long as the material’s high quality.” His words were charged. He wanted, he needed for me to figure out for myself who he was. But I couldn’t read him.
      The girl on the balcony paused for a moment, watching us. She was no more than twenty: blonde, thin, with Asian eyes, probably green. I read minds, but I don’t have telescopic vision. And people don’t think about their own eye color every minute of the day.
      “How do you want to use me? Do you have something worked out or do you make this up as you go along?”
      “I’ve got all the bases covered,” he answered. He didn’t hear me; he only heard the monologue he had prepared. “You never know what you’ve got yourself into. They pay well, of course.”
      “Whatever it is, I want her too,” I said, pointing at the girl on the balcony.
      “Why?” the man said without looking at her.
      “She has a talent that complements mine,” I lied. “I can’t function without her.”
      “Holy Mother of God!” the man answered. “That makes us a crowd, and for what?”
      “Just the three of us,” I corrected.
      “Does she know?”
      “No. I mean, yes. Now she does.”
      “And what is her talent?”
      “She’s a field blocker. Nobody within a radius of twelve or fifteen meters could tune me in or neutralize me.”
      “You’re a common telepath. Maybe that’s not what I want. There are thousands like you.”
      I took a long drag on my cigarette and then answered him gruffly. “Your call. You going to recruit me or not? You said you’ve been dreaming about me.”
      “Yes. I am prepared to. Is ten thousand all right?”
      “Ten thousand apiece. You include her or there’s no deal.”
      Though we didn’t like it, we were up to our necks in that war. That’s how it was. People like him traveled from town to town rounding up potential combatants at all hours of the night. We weren’t even sure how many sides there were in this war. I pointed at the girl with a stern finger, convinced that she wouldn’t even open the door for us.
      “I’ve changed my mind,” the man said. “We don’t need her. My team is undermanned and all I’m missing is a common tellie like you.” I wondered how I would change his mind, now that I had begun to add up the benefits to be had from a complementary like her.
      “All right. You said that money wasn’t the problem, and now you act like a loan shark. I’ll take the ten thou, and I’ll handle her.”
      “That is an interesting proposition. No reason not to try it.”
      “Shit! ‘I don’t care about the money, I can pay any sum.’ You’re all the same; every day that goes by you become more and more like us.”
      He headed toward the house and stopped beneath the balcony. The girl pulled half her body outside, drawn perhaps by curiosity; that was enough. The man pulled a cylinder from the inner pocket of his overcoat and shot a half dozen tracers, thin as sewing thread. The girl was caught in the web, unable to move. He hoisted her up a couple meters and then lowered her as if she were a helium-filled balloon trapped in the middle branches of a tree.
      “Isn’t that a bit rude?” I protested.
      “Brusque is a more precise word,” he said in way of defense. “I don’t know a better way.”
      I studied the girl, pausing at her blonde hair and her sensual mouth. I felt long-suppressed desires reawaken, but I quickly noticed that it was neither the time nor the place to satisfy them.
      “No time for romantic adventures,” the man told me, as if he could hear my thoughts.
      “Who’s the mindreader here?” I shot back. The girl, who had been quite philosophical about her abduction, pointed at the threads of the web which prevented her from standing up.
      “Undo the web,” she ordered. It was the first time that I had heard her voice. I fell in love immediately. She was perfect.
      The man obeyed meekly. He inverted the polarity of the field and the threads dissolved in the air or returned to the inside of the cylinder; I can’t tell which.
      “We’ve been recruited,” I said.
      “We’ve been recruited?” she repeated. “I’ve heard about a war, but nobody seems to know anything about it. I’d like to know your names. Now that we’re going to die... it’s no fun dying among strangers. I’m Rita.”
      “Nobody dies in the telepathic wars,” the man said. “The very worst that happens is you lose your talent.”
      “My name is Zurich,” I said.
      “Zurich? Sounds like an alias,” Rita said.
      “My name is Joel Green,” said the man. “And he’s telling the truth; his name is Zurich.”
      “But you’re not Joel Green,” I pointed out. “Where’d you get that name? From some novel? Ubik?”
      “The guy in Ubik was Joe Chip,” Rita corrected. She wiped some imaginary specks of dust from the sleeve of the overcoat. “When’s the action start?”
      Joel Green (His real name was Josué de Campos y Oliveira; he had been born in Curitiba of a German mother and a Portuguese father.) led us to a building over thirty stories tall. The lights burning on almost every floor confirmed that war continued to rage despite the lateness of the hour. The guards stationed behind a large semicircular counter snapped to attention when they saw their routine efforts at identifying the new arrivals blocked. They knew Green by sight, but that wasn’t always a guarantee with psychs; appearances could be altered with surgery, focused meditation or inductors... They smelled a rat the moment their attempts failed. The guards were a couple of simple level-two snoops, nothing more, capable of verifying identities, but totally incapable of canceling the antifield Rita was generating. We stopped and waited. After a few seconds it was obvious that Green had managed to generate a series of credible passwords, and the boys smiled stupidly and let us pass.
      We used an ultrafast to reach the 28th floor. All around us, in dozens of two-meter-tall cubes, their gazes lost in virtual battlefields, all kinds of operators were waging the quietest war in history. Rita stood watching them. There was a trace of disapproval in her eyes. She might be an antifield, but she had all the vices of the empaths. The symmetry of the boxes bothered her, those talents all chained to the insides; and yet she hadn’t protested about the abusive way Green had recruited her.
      “We change shifts every two hours,” Green said, anticipating Rita’s protests. Maybe someday I’d discover why she was so uneasy about the cubicles.
      “Who’s in charge of operations?” she asked. The question revealed a familiarity with military protocols which I would not have imagined when I first saw her on the balcony. She sat down in an armchair. From there she could make out five precogs arguing about the correct interpretation of a meshwork. Each of the five held a different colored thread and they obtained a different configuration based on their orders of entry and the knots at the crossings. The source of the disagreement was that there weren’t even two crossings.
      “Forget them,” Green said. Seeing that I remained silent, stone-faced behind a disapproving posture, he tried to cheer me up with an absurd boast. “We’re winning.”
      Since the beginning of the war we had known that the teams that were fighting were not terrestrial. They needed fresh cannon fodder, and Earth was able to supply it. After discovering that Earth was full of talents, they landed with all the solemnity appropriate to the occasion. Ambassadors. Exchanges. Everything proceeding toward a limitless expansion of knowledge. Mutual confidence, sympathy. No talk of wars. They seemed as gentle as lamas.
      “Can we start this job?” Rita’s restlessness interrupted my train of thought.
      “It’s not that simple,” Green said. “When the shifts change, in just about...,” he looked at his watch, “forty-five minutes, I’ll have a meeting of precogs to determine whether you are in any shape to form part of my team.”
      This news disappointed Rita. On the other hand, I had known it from the beginning.
      “Accept us or not,” Rita said, “we’re going to do it. We’ll be an independent team, Zurich and me. We’ll recruit talents to reconquer the Earth. You’ll help us, Green.”
      “You’re crazy! That’s just not possible. I work for them, not for myself.”
      “Someone want coffee?” I asked, trying to defuse the tension in the room, which was as thick as jelly. I had discovered -- from the smell, not from any metapsychic power -- that someone had been assigned to the job of preparing it.
      “All right,” Rita said. “Let’s declare a truce for a few minutes.”
      Green stood in front of Rita, perhaps wishing he hadn’t brought her along. Marking out the chain of command in such a peculiar war was no job for amateurs, and that’s what Green seemed to be. I was troubled by the way he was making it up on the fly, most of the time without any real knowledge of what was up.
      We all jumped when a shriek arose from one of the cubicles.
      “We lost a tower,” I whispered.
      “That’s not something to take lightly,” Rita said. “Those people suffer.”
      “Miss,” Green said, politely. “I think I misspoke before. It would be better to write romantic poems or to be working in a sweatshop.” Rita wished for a moment that she had some active talent to rely on, some kind of telekinesis which would allow her to pluck the slats out of the ceiling fan and sink them into Green’s neck like scythes. He felt no remorse: it was evident that inside Green there lived a being without emotions or even a face. The monster had taken possession of the body to manipulate it and use it to recruit people with talent for war. I stepped forward, and for the first time I saw the creature lodged inside Green: it had the form of a bile-colored Pear; four symmetric orifices, similar to circular mouths with ragged edges, proving that after evolving over hundreds of thousands of years organisms tend toward simple, functional designs.
      “Leave me alone!” I barked once I had managed to fight back the apathy that had engulfed me.
      “It would be better if you left,” Green insisted. “I was wrong. I admit it.”
      “No, you weren’t wrong, mister monster from outer space,” Rita said. But it was the last thing that she said. An invisible hand, clearly manipulated by one of the talents around us, squeezed her throat, knocking her out of commission. For the first time that night I began to suspect that I had made a bad decision, or at least a hasty one. It was clear that this team would exploit my unusual talent hidden in the guise of an ordinary telepath, but I didn’t care; what I couldn’t stand was the way they picked on the girl.
      A cicada chirped. A horde of fresh talents approached the cubicles and were relieving the ones who were just finishing up. It didn’t seem much different from shift change at a normal office. I saw some very strange mutants, but also many normal looking people. What made the difference was the rapture on some faces, as well as the fatigue visible in their bodies, their faces and minds.
      “Are they in any shape to bring us up to date? They look exhausted.” I looked at Green who, inexpressive, looked at the talents as though they were beings from another planet. “War requires fresh soldiers, but not green ones.”
      “My God,” Rita exclaimed, recovering. “How can they be so apathetic, so emotionless?” Green turned his attention to the girl. He had imagined her unconscious, or at least shivering and frightened in a corner. Instead, he found a resolute Rita, ready for combat.
      “Miss! Damn it!” Green was in the foulest mood. Perhaps he had discovered something in the script that endangered both himself and his situation. I anticipated his movement, but he anticipated me. He blocked my mental attack, and he knocked Rita out with a simple blow to the jaw.
      “We’re not going to get anywhere like this. You insisted on recruiting her. Now you can’t stand her autonomy.” I hadn’t even managed to verify who our teammates were and who the enemies were in this mess we had gotten ourselves into. Nor was it clear that Green had wanted to recruit Rita; I had forced her on him. Still, I was so disoriented that I wasn’t even able to remember what my specific talent was.
      One of the crew being relieved, as tall as a poplar, knelt down in front of Rita to try to revive her. Maybe he didn’t even see the punch, since he imagined that, as would usually be the case, the psychic attack had taken Rita out of play. He was an accidental empathic, his talent linked to borderline cases, and that’s what Rita was, although he had not figured out which kind she was. Green had him pegged as a telekinetic or a panic inducer, and so he retreated, leaning his outer body against the wall. His inner body curled up in a pathetic manner. He was a coward deep inside, whatever species he was. The empath paid no mind. He pulled out a deck of plastic cards from his pocket and began to place them one by one at the girl’s head. The images of the cards represented natural catastrophes or imaginary landscapes from the invaders’ worlds. The aliens’ arrival had inspired a morbid fantasy cult, similar to the one that existed in the second and third quarters of the 20th Century.
      “Help me,” he said, “to ward off this pig so it doesn’t attack Rita again.”
      “It’s not a pig. There’s something else inside. You think maybe we’re from the same side?” My question made no sense.
      “You think? These vermin change sides as easily as they change bodies.” Then, as if reacting in slow motion, he said, “Look inside. What do you see?”
      “A Pearoid, greenish, with four mouths.”
      “A Scap. Strange. It’s a member of the Fraternity, a kind of sergeant recruiter. He recruited you?”
      “A couple of hours ago.”
      Several operators came closer to Rita’s inert body as they abandoned their posts and were replaced. They were making all sorts of connections and were surprised by the story which flowed from the girl’s mind. I didn’t notice how long that part of the cycle lasted. There were already about a dozen talents of every warp and woof -- telepaths, precogs, empaths, telekinetics, inductors. Green, curled up between the floor and the wall, doubled over in an outlandish angle, seemed to have lost control of the situation, perhaps pressed in by the joint action of blockers and depressors. It was never clear to me why they all had ganged up on Green. After all, they were on his team and Rita was a complete unknown.
      “It’s not working,” the empath finally declared, collecting his cards.
      “She’s been liquidated,” a precog said. “Only five or six minutes of life left.”
      I absorbed the information, stupefied. What game was Green playing, or the entity that had taken him over? What was our role in this game? Rita, if you could take the precog at his word, would end up dying for nothing, without even having entered into battle, simply on the whim of some low-level official.
      “In the event of an emergency,” the empath said, “we are authorized to remove or even destroy the recruiter. Perhaps you were not aware how many parallel battles were being waged this very moment.”
      Now it was my turn to witness something incredible. Two of the talents sat down in front of Green. Without touching him, they began some process which clearly targeted him. The outer casing of the Scap flickered two or three times and then dissolved. The pieces, independent modules of what had been Green a moment earlier, scattered serenely, soundlessly, as if they were pieces of some soft material. The trunk, stripped of extremities and head, began more and more to resemble the Pearoid inside.
      The empath moved in front of me, blocking what remained of Green, and gave me his hand.
      “I’m Burgueño.”
      “Zurich,” I answered. “What’s their plan?”
      “Cut it in the middle, through the equator. The Scap that’s hiding inside the Pearoid is the worst vermin in the Universe. You know the expression ‘Trojan horse’?”
      “You read the Pearoid’s mind, but some time ago the Scap had devoured it from the inside out, as some kinds of worms do. Only the carcass of the Pearoid remains.
      “It could have defended itself.” The impotence of the first invader surprised me. That must have been happening while Green was recruiting us, when he wrapped up Rita on the balcony and led us to the Central Building.
      “It didn’t know what was happening until it was too late. And we found ourselves unable to intervene; this phase of the battle is intense. We were erecting a thermal wall this whole shift. Two of us fell. Did you hear the scream?”
      It was hard to take in. The significance of the battles had escaped me. But I did not try to probe Burgueño. The guy had a dirty side, something in his gestures that repulsed me. That’s why it did not surprise me when, anticipating my vibration, he opened himself wide open, placing his most intimate thoughts on display, and expecting my talent to shake him like an old moth-eaten carpet. He wagered that the shaking wouldn’t give off a single flake of putrefaction.
      After this gesture from Burgueño several things began to happen around me all at once, although I will have to describe each of them sequentially. The information to which I had been given access permitted me to recognize the previous steps of my recruitment and of Rita’s. Green had detected the anti-field of the girl; he wanted me only as a cover for his interest in her. He had hundreds like me, or at least who were like what I appeared to be. But he lacked antis in the team, and so it was becoming difficult to neutralize the Scaps. It was a confusing explanation. Why did Green want to neutralize the Scaps if he was one of them? Maybe there was a Galac or the representative of some uncatalogued species inside the Scap which was inside the Pearoid which was hidden in Green’s chest. This war was spreading like an ink stain, turning loose every hobbyist with any psychic talent on the Universe.
      While Burgueño was dazzling me with his overload of confusing data, the talents opened up the middle of what remained of Green. They cut the Pearoid in two and extracted a black hedgehog that began to bounce off the walls like a ball of adhesive cement trying to break free. So this was what the Scap really looked like. Now I understood how they had screwed around with my perception and I couldn’t see anything but Pearoids: the Scaps were sheathed in a sterile film refractive to third-level psychic reading. The surprise of the sudden explosion had blown the Scap’s mind, if that expression even makes sense for a creature of its morphology.
      Seeing the hedgehog rebounding against the walls and floor like a squash ball, I shot an inquiring glance at Burgueño: “What’s it trying to do?” I asked.
      “The Scap? To leave its armor, I guess. Bernardo is going to crush it like a bad tooth. That’s Bernardo,” he said pointing to the inductor who was wiping his hands like they were caked in mud. “I wish it was always this easy.”
      The third simultaneous action had begun outside my field of view and was continuing behind me. I noticed it when Burgueño’s mind slammed shut on me. Rita had come to, and the antitelepathic field she was generating was enough to wipe out all the talents. Only the Scap, supposedly blind and mute, managed to break through the shield with a clear message, a message directed at me.
      “They’re lying,” the Scap transmitted. “I’m on your side. They’re the enemies.”
      I have two or three words to describe what followed: thick, cloudy; a body falling from a great height into a tank full of honey. I had lost my thread in a maze full of blind eyes, eyes which looked but did not see. Another three: sticky, slow, stale. I sought help from Rita, both surprised and delighted that she had entered the fight, taunting the fate they had predicted for her. But Rita had vanished, perhaps swallowed up by the flood of talents who were stumbling chaotically among the cubicles, some relieving the others and others simply bumping into each other like Keystone Cops. Burgueño, his hand at his waist, pulled away from the bedlam for a moment, apparently defying the Scap.
      “I think your kind are totally paranoid,” he said. “It will never stay like this; soon it will all return to normal and you can go back to your games.”
      “Why would you say that?” I protested. “It’s not human. Is it trying to take advantage of your confusion?”
      “Shut up, Zurich! This isn’t your war, and you don’t know its protocols; you never even enlisted in it, so there’s no reason for you to insist on staying. Don’t bother me.”
      Resigned, I looked for a chair. Rita appeared from the void and sat at my side. She put her hand on my knee and squeezed. The warning ran through me electrically, but her mind remained a large fog of noise.
      “I can’t read you,” I muttered.
      “It’s safer between teeth,” she muttered back.
      I smiled. “What are they?”
      “Perms, a species from a sunless planet. Strange, huh? A planet that wanders between solar systems. They’re psychs, but of the lowest grade, although pretty clever and capable. They butted into this war between the Scaps and Galacs, without anybody inviting them...”
      “No, no!” I insisted without raising my voice. A hissed cry is the same as a thought in an underwater cave. We were stuck right in the middle, and so an uncomfortable thought came over me. “You could clear things up a bit.”
      “You’re not going to like it.”
      “Then I’ll explain it. Green recruited me for money, ten thou. But I insisted on your presence as a non-negotiable.”
      “How sweet of you!” Rita looked at me like you would look at a slobbering imbecile. “That shows that you don’t understand a thing. It is your destiny to be the next to last ball; it’s all about you being in the right place at the right time, hitting the right angle, and then the mission is complete. Nobody cares about what happens to you after that.”
      “Rats!” I exclaimed, this time indiscreetly. But the office had emptied. While we were talking, a clean-up crew had started using magic to eliminate every trace of the human and alien psychs infecting the place. Rita watched me closely.
      “Did you understand what I said? You’re not going to make it to the end.”
      “Yes, I understood. That’s not my question. Why can’t I read your mind? I lied to them. I hid the real nature of my talent: my penetration can’t be blocked.”
      “I’m something else,” Rita said, tersely.
      “Something else? What are you talking about? How many other somethings are there that I didn’t know could exist?”
      By way of reply, Rita shows her true appearance: she is no longer a girl, but a closed-up tulip, her petals louvered like steel panels. I watch spellbound as a small, irregular pulse travels through the polished surface, which culminates in a thirsty, growing opening. As she unfolds like a flower, she displays complex microscopic systems, artificial organs of unsurpassed quality and precision. I feel as if I am falling from a great height. The stamens are receptor antennae for signals emitted by a higher being, one born on a planet that revolves around a star that is not the Sun, and that at this moment happens to be hovering ten thousand kilometers above the Earth, spying on our movements. Rita-tulip receives a trillion terabytes per nanosecond. That compressed information is explaining the origin, nature and end of the Universe; it would take eons to decode it, but the entity pities us and condenses and summarizes the content. The Universe, it says, has no purpose but is the product of chance. It is cyclical, it says. The dimensions of the Universe, it says, link together, interlace, complement, forming a sequential continuum in which the beginning and end, inside and outside, past, present and future lack any sense. Is that all? A little bit more. The creatures that inhabit it are distortions of time and space, accidents with neither purpose nor reason. This war? This war is useless, like any other war, like all the individual or collective acts of the creatures that infect the Universe. Scaps, Humans, Galacs, Perms. In the final analysis the actions, passions, lives, and deaths of trillions of species hold no importance for the Universe -- God, if you wish. Then, the entity is silent. It needs no time, but it takes pity on us and pauses before executing the next step.
      The stamens transform into claws. Acting quickly and efficiently, they hold me down, immobilize me, bring me closer to the petals, which slowly close. One stamen undergoes another transformation: now it is a scalpel. The claws move me into position and the scalpel slices through my belly, tracing a perfect line which rolls through my waist, continues along my back, reunites at my navel and joins up with itself. Four stamens, converted into jaws, hold down my extremities, another surrounds my neck. They fly off in opposite directions and split my body in two, separating the upper half from the lower. A toroidal form, a violet donut with red spots, emerges for the first time. It is a Coci-dí. The higher being blesses me with this insight. It is incredible! I have been harboring a Coci-dí inside me, controlling my actions, manipulating me. Now, split in two by the scalpel of a higher being, although not deprived of the ability to perceive my surroundings, I witness the second phase of the process. The stamens mutate once more, turning into the appropriate instruments for dealing with the morphology of a Coci-dí. Clasps, scribes, pile-drivers, wedges, chisels. I already know what comes next, of course. Who is the unseen operator, buried inside the depths of the Coci-dí? The higher being perhaps? Rubbish. In the interior of the Coci’dí there is a rough black pearl, a chick pea capable of swallowing all of the surrounding light. It calls itself Freber.
      “That’s not the end of it,” Rita whispers. Rita? We have returned to our more conventional reality. The tulip with steel petals and the chopping stamens of the superior entity has vanished. But not Freber.
      “Here, from the interior of Freber,” says a sharp-edged thought, focusing like a laser toward the center of my pineal gland. “I am One, the Indivisible.”
      “Does this ever end?” I look at Rita. We are seated in twin armchairs, our hands entwined like turtledoves.
      “That’s part of this war,” she responds, mystically. “You noticed, when the fighting started, that we were taking on alternative realities, alien to our own experience? Be careful.”
      Unprepared, I feel the wave shake me, drag me. The motion can only be measured in combined units, now that the entire space-time continuum has been affected. I understand the analogy of the dolls: one inside the other, all the way out to infinity. Still, there must be a final, indivisible doll. Miniscule, almost theoretical, bobbing in the limit between being and nothingness. The present too is a point capable of containing all of the past. And so too will be the future, since it does not yet exist. And even so it can include the present, the fluctuating point, the quantum of eternity. I have to tell Rita: knowledge is power, its duration shorter than the leap of one particle to another plane of reality, but whoever possesses it wins.
      “No,” Rita says. “Rained out.”
      “Rained out?” The building is still empty; the extinguished lights and the turned-off machines form an almost unreal tableau. What could seem unreal to me, at this point in the story?
      “Rained out,” Rita repeats, at my side. “A draw.”
      “A draw? You made me go through all that just to reach a miserable draw?”
      A little man with small hands is walking towards me with hesitant steps. He interrupts his walk and stands silent for a minute, stiff, as if he has forgotten the next line in his script. Right then I realize that there will be serious communications issues. At 3:30 a.m. I have not time for bullshit.
      “Strange,” he finally says. “I’ve been dreaming about you.”
      “Don’t bother me,” I reply. I light a cigarette.
      “I know this wears you out,” he insists. Then he returns to his dark silence.
      I overhear the thoughts of a woman doubled over in the balcony of a neighboring building: “I’ll do it for money.” It’s promising. All I want to do is get rid of the man. “But I’ve had enough already, and I don’t think this war is worth it.” Before the man can sense that I’ve moved my arms, I press his neck with one hand and squeeze his ankles together. I knock him over. I pull him apart. One identical man, but smaller, jumps from the interior hole and presses on, continuing the same old pitch.
      “I have the means to pay, whatever it costs,” the man says. “I don’t care about the money. I can pay any sum. They’ll pay anything, as long as the material’s high quality.”
      I repeat the operation, twelve times, a thousand. The last men are smaller than ants. Their cast-off shells give the landscape a make-believe sheen. Rita, laughing, hands me a magnifying glass and two stamp collector’s tweezers. Very carefully I pull him apart once more. It could be an angel, but it isn’t. It stubbornly repeats its schpiel, already inaudible. It seems that there is a war somewhere and that the Universe has no purpose, but I’m not certain what this one is saying. Rita laughs, and without me being able to stop her, she squashes the last man, the indivisible one, with the heel of her boot.

Sergio Gaut vel Hartman was born in Buenos Aires in 1947. He is a very prolific writer, having published numerous stories in magazines around the world. He is the author of the collection of stories “Cuerpos descartables”, Minotauro (1985). He was creator and director of the magazine Sinergia and later director of the magazine Parsec. In Axxón we have presented a special issue, Number 67, dedicated to him, plus the stories “Crías de esturión” (Axxón 69), “Náufrago de sí mismo” (Axxón 60), “Encubridor” (Axxón 100), “Disfraz” (Axxón 123). More data on Sergio in the encyclopedia.

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