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"He isn't out of his mind, is he?"
"I don't think so, but he has had a tremendous strain and shock. It'll
take awhile. He isn't of the same structure as the other one."
Lors sighed wearily. "I'll see what I can do with him. Commander Zark
has plans for him."
"Another switch?" The doctor made no attempt to cover his disgust over
"An accident, I believe."
"From bad to worse, huh?"
Lors didn't answer him. He merely made a motion with his hand for the
doctor to show him where the Terran was being kept. Doctor Zuloe nodded
and pointed toward a door at the far end of the ward. A blue uniformed
spacer stood guard before the door. He clicked his heels as Lors
"I want to see the Terran, spacer," Lors said briskly.
The spacer nodded and opened the door. Lors stepped inside and listened
to the lock click into place behind him.
Nolan Brice was seated on the edge of the bed staring at the wall, but
Lors did not believe that he was in a state of shock. He had the knotted
jaws of a man who is firmly determined to betray nothing to his captors.
He sat there with his fingers laced together, hanging between his knees,
his clothing rumpled and hanging loose from his broad frame.
Brice swung his eyes to the Firstspacer, the muscles of his jaws
working. "I'll kill you," he said, with a horrible softness in his
"Nolan. Listen, I'm here to help you."
"You've done a lot of helping, spaceman. I know what you want. Earth."
"Don't be silly. I want to help you and Danson to get back home..."
"I don't need you!"
"Shut up and listen. I'm risking my neck coming in here to help you, so
you damned well better follow orders. In a minute I'm going to call that
guard in here, and we're going to borrow his uniform. Then we'll head
for a scout ship and get you to hell back to Terra. Will that suit
"This is some kind of trick..."
"Do you want to go, or stay here," Lors demanded coldly. "I don't have
time to lecture you. I'll leave that up to your friend, Danson."
"Play it your way, spaceman," Brice said tightly.
"Okay." Lors stood up and spoke through the door to the guard, pulling
his auto-pistol from the holster. "Come in here, spacer!"
The guard shoved the door open and came in. "What is it, Firstspacer?"
The guard swung to look at Brice and, as his head turned, Lors brought
the butt of the pistol down hard. The guard grunted and dropped heavily
to the floor, his auto-rifle falling with a loud thud. By now, if
everything was working out right, Danson should be on his way to the
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