He killed eleven million men in the death camps of Pilor IX during the brief reign of the mad Emperor Justacious. He killed seventeen million men on Boriga II in a manner that made the gas ovens of ancient Earth and its Reich seem compassionate. He killed five million women and children on New Rhodesia. He killed three thousand seventeen men on Cambria III, each in a different way. He invented torture devices that even Spica VI, which was in revolt against the Republic, would not use. No photograph, holograph, or videodisc of him was known to exist. He had never been fingerprinted. There was no voice or retina identification pattern on him in any computer. He had no bank account on any world, no financial or property holdings that anyone had been able to trace. His planet of origin was unknown. Many men had served him; all but seven were dead, and none of those seven had ever seen him. He was a fugitive. His name was Conrad Bland and he was, for the moment, safe. Chief Detective John Sable is caught between his badge and his conscience as the two most famous executioners of all time prepare to do battle in his territory.