The Blame of the Nose was the eighth story in the Bernice Summerfield anthology A Life Worth Living. It was written by Ben Woodhams.

Summary Edit

Braxiatel calls Benny to the library, where a visiting academic named Kardom has died while studying a text that Benny recently brought to the Collection. Brax explains that the book, which discusses the legend of the Harrassi, contains a poison whose molecules are spread throughout the book, so that when someone reads the book, he inhales the poison bit by bit, up to the end of the book when death results. Because Brax had all the books from Benny's recent trip scanned, the person who did the scanning has also died from the poison, and the scanning equipment and any later books scanned are also infected.

Benny is horrified and blames herself for the deaths. She only read a little of the text, so some of the poison is in her system, but not enough to kill her. After the autopsy on Kardom's body, Benny goes to the spaceport to watch his body being taken away. She notices that a man is also keeping vigil, and introduces herself. He gives his name as Aljermain Hok. He seems to be uncomfortable and soon makes his excuses.

Benny is suspicious and gets Joseph to investigate Hok. It turns out he was using a fake name; his real name is Rand Gemeno, and he is famous for debunking myths. Benny notices something odd in the video feed that Joseph provided.

That night, Benny and Jason hide in the library. Gemeno shows up and telekinetically removes books from the shelf. When Jason tries to stop him, Gemeno tosses him to the ceiling, where he stays. Benny pulls what appears to be a gun on Gemeno, who brags that bullets can't hurt him. The device, however, is a psi-dampener. When she uses it, Jason falls from the ceiling onto Gemeno.

Benny accuses Gemeno of killing Kardom, to prevent him from proving the Harrassi legend to be real. She tells him that he didn't have to kill Kardom; the poison was already killing him. Gemeno tries to mentally disable Benny's device, but it is too much for him and his head explodes.

Benny is relieved to know she is not responsible for Kardom's death.

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to be added

Continuity Edit

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