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The ship came to rest upon a flat, ochre colored plain beside a
brilliant white city encased in thick, heavy walls. There was a dull
pain in his head and fire in his leg, but he was alive. He lay limply
upon the bed while Firstspacer Narvi plied him with honeywine to dull
He grinned, studying the blond giant's warm, friendly face. He was among
friends; the tall, yellow eyed Thistians had failed to kill him and
Narvi had whisked him away into the violet sky.
"Thought we'd lost you, Lors," Narvi grinned. "You almost did," he
replied, choking on the Thista honeywine. "Haven't you anything else,
something from Darkkan?"
"Sorry, friend," Narvi grinned, "but you can be glad to get this. The
36th Command has been drinking up even this stuff. I'll see you later,
in the hospital."
"All right, Narvi." The big man started away, but Lors stopped him by
grabbing his blue sleeve. "Narvi?"
"Thanks. Thanks a lot."
Firstspacer Narvi punched him playfully on the arm and left the
compartment. The medical men came in then, hooking the anti-gravity
capsules to the bed and setting them into motion. The cot-like stretcher
lifted and the men towed him out to the freight elevator. As they stowed
him into the ambulance, he could see Narvi's staff car skimming toward
the Commandant's building to make out his report.
No doubt Commandant Imry would be coming to see him, later on.
* * * * *
Nick groaned. Another dream that was beginning to clear things up a
"He's coming around." The words were not English, but Nick understood
The big blond cursed softly. "Speak English, Thesa. Someone might hear
"There hasn't been anyone around this farm in months," Thesa replied,
lapsing into English. "But if you're getting particular, don't call me
Nick opened his eyes and blinked at them. It was the two watch dogs, the
blond and his sandy haired friend. The giant was grinning at him.
"Hello," he beamed. "Remember me?"
"No! Who in hell are you?" Nick struggled to get out of the chair he'd
been dumped in, but was pushed back firmly.
"When you didn't report, we went out to find you. The old guy at the gas
station covered up for you, so we had to watch Beth's house. Used all
kinds of tricks, Lors. Why in the blue heaven didn't you make contact?"
"You're Narvi!" Nick stared with wide eyes. "You're the man in the
"Dream? Say, what's wrong with you, Lors? You refuse to report, you take
pot shots at us... That crash was a bad thing; don't tell me your
"Narvi," Thesa put in quickly. "The crash! He was lucky to get out of it
alive. Maybe he can't remember what went on. That right, Lors?"
Nick stared at them and foggy pictures swung vaguely into his mind.
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