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they're likely to ruin the planet in atomic wars..."
"Sounds like the ancient history of our own planet," Lors said softly.
The memories were coming in faster now.
"True. And you know what happened to us? Damned near lost the whole
planet. Anyhow, you know the other planets in this galaxy? Well, since
Terra has a life form like ours, we could use this place as a link in
the supply chain. That is our main purpose. Trade.
"But these people have a strange attitude. Why, if we would land a ship
now, they'd rip us to shreds before you knew it. These people fear what
they don't understand, and anything they can't understand they kill. So,
right now, we're sending agents, or spies, down here with instructions
to probe about. They're coming along rather well, getting out of the
trees, you might say; but we'll have to keep an eye on them for awhile
Lors finished the water. "But what has this got to do with Commander
Imry and me? Apparently I was to take the place of Nick Danson, but
"That was Imry. You see, many times our agents are handicapped by the
very lives they lead. In order to learn about people, one has to live
with them; when our agents do this, they have to get jobs and settle
down in one area. Imry picked Danson because he's a footloose artist who
paints illustrations for magazines. All he had to do was snatch Danson,
work a little plastic surgery on you and put you in Nick Danson's place.
You then, would not be confined and could roam all over the planet
without being questioned."
"That's crazy," Lors told him. "I couldn't take Danson's place for the
rest of my life. He was gambling on a hell of a lot."
Narvi grunted. "You're a good spacer, Lors. You follow orders, even when
they're dictated by a madman. When you left the ship, you _were_ Danson.
You were processed so beautifully that no one could tell the difference.
When you cracked up, a blow on the head, or something, must have created
a temporary amnesia and you thought you _were_ Danson. We certainly had
a time locating you. Anyhow, you're to go back to the ship as soon as
you can. The new commander wants to talk with you." Narvi grinned slyly.
"I imagine you'll want to talk to him too. It's Zark, our old friend
"Zark. Yes. I remember him." Lors stood up and paced the room in
thought. He remembered grey haired, friendly Zark, but more than that,
he remembered Commander Zark's beautiful, blond daughter, Jela. "I
remember a lot now, Narvi. It's too bad they didn't send him sooner.
Things wouldn't be so messed up."
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