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altered the course, whipping the scout ship onto a collision bearing.
When they were close enough, they used their signal and heard it
The ship slipped in easily as the port opened in the starship's side.
Narvi guided the craft in with tender hands and settled it gently on the
floor. A positioner hooked a line to the ship and pulled it quickly into
the repair bins. A light winked in the wall. The area was again
They climbed out and dropped to the floor as a crew of repair men went
to work on the ship. Narvi slapped Lors on the arm.
"I'm going below for a drink. Join Me?"
Lors shook his head. "No, thanks. I might be down a bit later, but right
now I'd best talk to the Commander."
"Right. Just don't tell him that you're thinking of jilting his only
daughter for an alien, or he'll turn four different shades of purple."
Lors grinned and watched the big blond stride away to the elevator that
would take him down to the bar on the first level. Then he walked off in
the opposite direction, heading toward the forward end of the ship
where he would find his "future" father-in-law, Commander Zark. Spacers,
in the gleaming halls, saluted him in the traditional manner - a hand
clasped to the hip that held their holstered auto-pistol - and it was a
good feeling. He had almost forgotten.
The Commander's guards stopped him outside the door, but when he
explained who he was and what he wanted, they nodded in unison. One of
them pressed a button which opened the door to the vestibule outside the
Lors stepped inside and the door hummed shut behind him. The vestibule
was little more than a box-like room, containing a small visi-screen. He
pressed the small, black button at the base of the dark screen and kept
his finger on it while the lines waved.
"Firstspacer Lors to see the Commander," he said, as the rotund face of
his future father-in-law waved and blurred into focus.
"Come in, Lors! Come in!" Zark's voice was a bellow of pleasure.
The heavy door swung open and Lors stepped into the room to click his
heels and slap his right hand against the black holster before the
"Firstspacer Lors reporting, sir," he said, as Zark got up from the
chair and came toward him.
"Lors, Lors, my son! How are you?"
They grabbed each other by the shoulders and laughed like children.
Lors, despite his love for Beth Danson and the trouble that was
undoubtedly coming up, was happy as a Terran child at Christmas to see
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