'And the people absolutely adore him. Razul's like their national hero. They call him theSword of Truth. You mention democracy and they get
mad,' Ed complainedfeelingly. 'They start talking about how he saved them from civil war during therebellion, how he took command of the army, et cetera, et cetera. They've actually made afilm about it, they're so proud of him-''I expect they must be,' Bethany said flatly, an agonisingly sharp tremor of bitternessquivering through her.'Yes, sirree,' Ed sighed with unhidden admiration. 'Although this divine cult they've builtup around him can be painful, he is one hell of a guy! By the way,' Ed added, pausing for breath, 'who's coming to collect you?''Nobody,' Bethany muttered, praying that the monologue on Razul was over.Ed frowned. 'But you're travelling alone.'Bethany suppressed a groan. Actually, she hadn't been alone at Gatwick. A researchassistant had been making the trip with her. But, with only minutes to go before they boarded, Simon had tripped over a carelessly sited briefcase and had come down hardenough to break his ankle. She had felt dreadful simply abandoning him to the paramedics but, aside from the fact that she barely knew the young man, work naturallyhad had to take precedence.'Why shouldn't I be travelling alone?''How on earth did you get a visa?' Ed prompted, suddenly looking very serious. i'The usual way ... What's wrong?''Maybe nothing.' Ed shrugged with an odd air of discomfiture, not meeting her enquiringgaze. 'You want me to stay with you in case there should be a problem?''Of course not, and I see no reason why there should be a problem,' Bethany informedhim rather drily.But there was. Ed had just moved off with an uneasy wave when the Datari officialscrutinised her visa and asked, 'Mr Simon Tarrant?'Bethany frowned.'According to your visa, you are travelling with a male companion. Where is he?''He wasn't able to make the flight,' she explained with some exasperation.