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startled spacer with his rush. He had no idea how long it would be until
it was discovered that Narvi had let Danson out, but he knew the escape
would not remain unnoticed for long.
He burst into the repair bin area of the hangar and jerked his head
toward the tubes. When a ship came into the side of the mother-ship,
they entered through a large port which made it easier for the pilot of
the scout ship. But to leave the starship, one had to install the
smaller craft into one of the many blast tubes on either side of the big
He looked frantically about the area for Danson and spotted the Terran
standing unobtrusively near the pilot entry to one of the blast tubes.
Nick Danson, garbed in the blue and yellow of a Firstspacer, was a twin
for Lors. He hoped anxiously that none of the repairmen would notice the
Lors grabbed a mechanic by the arm. "Spacer! I'm on an urgent mission.
Where can I get a ship?"
The young spacer looked thoughtful for a moment, then pointed toward a
tube on the other side of the hangar. "In that tube, sir."
"I'll help you rig it," the spacer said.
"Never mind, I'll do it myself. Go about your work."
"Yes, sir." The spacer turned away, a puzzled look on his face.
Lors motioned to Danson and headed toward the tube door. He could well
understand the spacer's bewilderment. While it was possible for the
pilot of a scout ship to launch his own craft, it was highly impractical
and not normally done. He hoped it didn't arouse their suspicions. He
yanked the door open and looked over his shoulder. Danson was almost to
him, running hard. Heads turned as the mechanics watched him run.
Danson reached the door and Lors shoved him into the tube.
"Where's Brice," Danson demanded.
Lors slammed the door and whirled the wheel of the spider lock. He
didn't answer. He was too concerned with getting the door secured.
Through the port in the heavy door, he could see spacers gesturing and
pointing at the blast tube.
"He's dead." Lors secured the wheel and noticed that a Vice-commander
had come into the hangar area. "Get in the ship! Fast!"
Outside, the hanger workers were milling about like a fleet of bees.
Lors turned to Danson and saw him standing beside the ship, his eyes
wild with disbelief.
"Get in the ship!"
"Not without Brice!"
Lors exploded in his native tongue. "Get in that ship, Danson! How long
do you think it'll be before they come in the emergency door?"
Nick's eyes were wide and violent. "I'm not leaving Nolan up here,
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