In the room which the hospital staff jestingly referred to asthe expectant father’s sweatbox John Alexander butted a half-smoked cigarette into an ash stand. Then he got up from the padded leather chair where he had sat for the last hour and a half, looking up each time the door opened and someone had come in from the corridor outside. On each occasion, though, the news had been for someone else, and now, of the five men who had occupied the room ninety minutes ago, only he and one other remained.
Now the old man turned to Lucy. Almost sardonically, he said,So Radiology bows out.
Suddenly, exactly on noon, the tractor stopped abruptly. We jumped out to see what the matter was, and it became apparent soon enough the driver was awaiting instructions. We had abruptly rounded the humpback of the last ice ridge that had lain between us and the glacier itself.
Alarmed, the Nine Star League had prepared distant early warning devices around all its inhabited systems to forestall another incursion by this dangerous species. The Mrdini had been able to circumvent the device by staying just beyond its sensor range and inserting instructive dreams in the sleeping minds of Damia, Afra and four other Denebian Talents. The Mrdini were not only triumphant to find a species that could destroy a Hive ship with no loss of life and without collecting a flotilla of space vessels and suicide crews in doing so, but also Allies in their long struggle against the depredations of the Hivers. Deneb had been unknowingly selected as an excellent Hive colony society. The zo ZI press for acceptable worlds on which to propagate themselves meant the annihilation of any life form they encountered. Sadly, not all emerging species had the weapons to counter such tactics and the method which the Talents had used telepathy and teleportation – had seemed magical to the Mrdinis.
That’s very thoughtful of you, Rhodri.
The nurses looked at each other, obdurate, cold. Why don’t we get some other nurses? thought Mona.
A deep growl came from James. He ducked his head as if he were a blind bull about to charge. I felt absolutely desperate as I saw his hands curl into fists.Give it up, James, David shouted. And as a volley of oaths came from the being, I made for him once more, panic driving me as surely as courage and plain mortal will- The first hot ray of the sun cut across the water! Dear God it was now or never and …….