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Later, dressed in the uniform of a Firstspacer, Lors checked himself in
the mirror of the bedroom making certain that he was properly dressed.
Trousers bloused neatly into the black, half boots, the yellow stripes
perfectly aligned, the cuffs of the tunic fastened at his wrists and
throat, the emblems of the 8th. Terran Command on the collar, the patch
of rank on his left shoulder sleeve. Yes, he was all set. Precise.
He grinned at Thesa. "Feels good," he said.
The sandy haired spacer handed him the black leather belt containing the
auto-pistol and the cartridge belt. He buckled it on, feeling the
familiar weight drag at his right hip.
"Okay?" Thesa asked.
Lors nodded. "Thanks for the loan," he said and went out to where Narvi,
already dressed, awaited him.
"How's your head?" Narvi asked.
"Let's go, then."
They walked, wordlessly, out to the barn. The blond snapped on a small
light near the scout ship and Lors went up close to examine it.
"Climb in," Narvi invited. "I have to scan the area and make sure no one
will see the take-off."
Lors leaped to the cockpit and opened the plastic-dome; he dropped
lithely into the seat, his feet moving automatically to the rudder
pedals, his hands impatiently fingering the controls. So much was coming
back. So many remembrances with each second of time. He was _not_
Nicholas Howard Danson, and he had never been! He was Firstspacer Lors
of the 8th. Terran Command, and he felt his heart thrill to the
knowledge of who he was and where he was. It was slow, this strange
process of regaining his mind, but it was coming along. He would soon be
whole again, no longer some freak caught in the vortex between two
"Ready?" Narvi asked, slipping into the seat beside him and pulling the
cockpit shield into place.
"Ready. Where's the starship?"
"Bearing 204.5, off-planet. We'll be there in no time."
The barn door swung open as Narvi started the scout ship and they moved
out into the night, hovering a foot off the barn floor until they were
Narvi conned the ship, working the verti-control expertly and the
little craft whistled upward at a gentle speed. The radar screen before
them disclosed no aircraft in the area. Narvi grinned at Lors and shoved
the speed control forward, working the elevators with his other hand and
the scout ship streaked into the night sky.
Lors, watching the screen, saw the oblong shape of the mother ship blurp
into view and called out its position to his friend. At once, Narvi
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