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The Mixed Men

The globe was palely luminous, and about three feet in diameter. It hung in the air at approximately the center of the room, and its lowest arc was at the level of Maltby's chin.

Frowning, his double mind tensed, he climbed farther out of the bed, put on his slippers, and walked slowly around the light-shape.

As he stepped past it, it vanished.

He twisted hastily back—and there it was again.

Maltby allowed himself a grim smile. It was as he had thought, a projection pointing out of sub-space at his bed, and having no material existence in the room. Therefore, it couldn't be seen from the rear.

His frown deepened with gathering puzzlement. If he didn't know that they did not possess such a communicator, he'd guess that he was about to be advised that the time had come for action.

He hoped not, fervently. He was as far as ever from a decision. Yet who else would be trying to reach him?

The impulse came to touch the button that would connect the control center of the big spaceship with what was going on in his room. It wouldn't do to have Gloria think that he was in secret communication with outsiders.

Maltby smiled grimly. If she ever got suspicious, even the fact that he was married to her wouldn't save his two minds from being investigated by the ship's psychologist, Lieutenant Neslor. Still—

He had other commitments than marriage. He sat down on the bed, scowled at the thing, and said:

"I'm going to make an assumption as to your identity. What do you want?"

A voice, a very strong, confident voice spoke through the globe:

"You think you know who is calling, in spite of the unusual means?"

Maltby recognized the voice. His eyes narrowed, he swallowed hard; then he had control of himself. Memory came that there might be other listeners, who would draw accurate conclusions from his instant recognition of a voice. It was for them that he said:

"The logic of it is comparatively simple. I am a Mixed Man aboard the Earth battleship Star Cluster, which is cruising in the Fifty suns region of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud. Who would be trying to get in touch with me but the Hidden Ones of my own race?"

"Knowing this," said the voice pointedly, "you have nevertheless made no attempt to betray us?"

Maltby was silent. He wasn't sure he liked that remark. Like his own words, he recognized that these were aimed at possible listeners. But it was not a friendly act to call the attention of those listeners to the fact that he was keeping this conversation to himself.

More sharply than before it struck him that he had better remember his political situation both here on the ship, and out there. And weigh every word as he uttered it.

* * *

Born a Mixed Man, Maltby had been captured as a child by the Dellian and non-Dellian robots of the Fifty Suns, and educated to a point where he felt a semiloyalty to his captors. Years of a life in which he was never quite trusted had culminated in his being assigned to destroy the Earth battleship.

In this he had only been partially successful, the end result having been a forcible re-shaping of his minds to be sympathetic to Earth. And this, in its turn, had ended in marriage to the youthful and dynamic Lady Laurr, commander of the mightiest war machine that had ever entered the Lesser Magellanic Cloud.

As a result of his varied experience, he now had three sympathies. That was the trouble. Three sympathies. He understood the motivations and beliefs, not only of the Dellian and non-Dellian robots, but also of the hidden race of Mixed Men and of the human beings from the main galaxy.

Literally, he couldn't take sides against any of them. His only hope, long held now, was that somewhere amid the welter of conflicting fears and desires was a solution that would be satisfactory to all three groups.

He knew better than to expect that such a hope would occur to any of the three. It was time he spoke again, and it would be advisable to bring the identity of the man beyond the light-thing into the open. He stared at it, and said curtly:

"Who are you?"


"Oh!" said Maltby.

His surprise was not altogether simulated. There was a difference between an inward recognition of a voice, and having that recognition verbally verified. The implications of the identity somehow sank in deeper:

Hunston, his enemy among the Mixed Men, and for many years now the acting leader.

Softly, Maltby repeated an earlier question: "What do you want?"

"Your diplomatic support."

Maltby said: "My what?"

The voice grew resonant and proud:

"In accordance with our belief, which you must surely share, that the Mixed Men are entitled to an equal part in the government of the Fifty Suns, regardless of the smallness of their numbers, I have today ordered that control be seized of every planet in the System. At this moment the armies of the Mixed Men, backed by the greatest assembly of super-weapons known in any galaxy, are carrying out landing operations, and will shortly attain control. You—"

The voice paused; then quietly: "You are following me, Captain Maltby?"

The question was like the silence after a clap of thunder.

* * *

Slowly, Maltby emerged from the hard shock of the news. He climbed to his feet, then sank back again. Consciousness came finally that, though the world had changed, the room was still there. The room and the light-globe and himself.

Anger came then like a leaping fire. Savagely, he snapped:

"You gave this order—"

He caught himself. His brain geared to lightning comprehension, he examined the implications of the information. At last, with a bleak realization that in his position he could not argue the matter, he said:

"You're depending on acceptance of a fait accompli. What I know of the unalterable policies of Imperial Earth, convinces me your hope is vain."

"On the contrary," came the quick reply. "Only Grand Captain, the Lady Laurr must be persuaded. She has full authority to act as she sees fit. And she is your wife."

Cooler now, Maltby hesitated. It was interesting that Hunston, having acted on his own, was now seeking his support. Not too interesting though. What really held Maltby silent was the sudden realization that he had known something like this would happen—had known it from the very instant the news had been flashed that an Earth battleship had discovered the robot civilization of the Fifty Suns many months ago now.

Ten years, five years, even one year hence, the seal of Earth's approval would be set forever on the Fifty Suns democratic system as it was.

And the laws of that government expressly excluded the Mixed Men from any participation whatsoever. At this moment, this month, a change was still theoretically possible. After that—

It was clear that he personally had been too slow in making up his mind. The passions of other men had surged to thoughts of action, and finally to action itself. He would have to leave the ship somehow, and find out what was going on. For the moment, however, caution was the word. Maltby said:

"I am not averse to presenting your arguments to my wife. But some of your statements do not impress me in the slightest. You have said 'the greatest assembly of super-weapons in any galaxy.' I admit this method of using sub-space radio is new to me, but your statement as a whole must be nonsense.

"You cannot possibly know the weapons possessed by even this one battleship because, in spite of all my opportunity, I don't know. It is a safe assumption, furthermore, that no one ship can carry some of the larger weapons that Earth could muster at short notice anywhere in the charted universe.

"You cannot, isolated as we have all been, so much as guess what those weapons are, let alone declare with certainty that yours are better. Therefore, my question in that connection is this: why did you even mention such an implied threat? Of all your arguments, it is the least likely to rouse any enthusiasm for your cause. Well?"

* * *

On the main bridge of the big ship, the Right Honorable Gloria Cecily turned from the viewing plate, which showed Maltby's room. Her fine face was crinkled with thought. She said slowly to the other woman:

"What do you make of it, Lieutenant Neslor?"

The ship's psychologist said steadily: "I think, noble lady, this is the moment we discussed when you first asked me what would be the psychological effects of your marriage to Peter Maltby."

The grand captain stared at her subordinate in astonishment. "Are you mad? His reaction has been correct in every detail. He has told me at great length his opinions of the situation in the Fifty Suns; and every word he has spoken fits. He—"

There was a soft buzz from the intership radio. A man's head and shoulders came onto the plate. He said:

"Draydon, Commander of Communications speaking. In reference to your question about the ultrawave radio now focused in your husband's bedroom, a similar device was invented in the main galaxy about a hundred and ninety years ago. The intention was to install it into all the new warships, and into all the older ships above cruiser size, but we were on our way before mass production began.

"In this field at least, therefore, the Mixed Men have equaled the greatest inventions of human creative genius, though it is difficult to know how so few could accomplish so much. The very smallness of their numbers makes it highly probable that they are not aware that our finders would instantly report the presence of their energy manifestation. They cannot possibly have discovered all the by-products of their invention. Any questions, noble lady?"

"Yes, how does it work?"

"Power. Sheer, unadulterated power. The ultra rays are directed in a great cone towards a wide sector of space in which the receiver ship is believed to be. Every engine in the sending ship is geared to the ray. I believe that experimentally contact was established over distances as great as thirty-five hundred light-years."

"Yes, but what is the principle?" Impatiently. "How, for instance, would they pick out the Star Cluster from a hundred other battleships?"

"As you know," came the reply, "our battleship constantly emits identification rays, on a special wave length. The ultra rays are tuned to that wave length, and when they contact, react literally instantaneously. Immediately, all the rays focus on the center of the source of the identification waves, and remain focused regardless of speed or change of direction.

"Naturally, once the carrier wave is focused, sending picture and voice beams over it is simplicity itself."

"I see." She looked thoughtful. "Thank you."

* * *

The grand captain clicked off the connection, and turned again to the image of the scene in Maltby's room. She heard her husband say:

"Very well, I shall present your arguments to my wife."

The answer of the light-globe was: it vanished. She sat cold. The whole interview had been registered on a beam; and so the part she had missed didn't matter. She'd run it off again later. She turned slowly to Lieutenant Neslor, and expressed the thought that hadn't left her mind for an instant:

"What are your reasons for what you said just before we were interrupted?"

The older woman said coolly: "What has happened here is basic to the entire robot problem. It is too important to allow any interference. Your husband must be removed from the ship, and you must allow yourself to be conditioned out of love with him until this affair is finally settled. You see that, don't you?"

"No!" Stubbornly. "I do not. On what do you base your opinion?"

"There are several notable points," said the psychologist. "One of them is the fact that you married him. Madam, you would never have married an ordinary person."

"Naturally." The grand captain spoke proudly. "You yourself have stated that his I.Q.'s, both of them, are greater than mine."

Lieutenant Neslor laughed scathingly. "Since when has I.Q. mattered to you? If that was a reason for recognizing equality, then the royal and noble families of the galaxy would long ago have become saturated with professors and scholars. No, no, my captain, there is in a person born to high estate an instinctive sense of greatness which has nothing to do with intelligence or ability. We less fortunate mortals may feel that that is unfair, but there is nothing we can do about it. When his lordship walks into the room, we may dislike him, hate him, ignore him or kowtow to him. But we are never indifferent to him.

"Captain Maltby has that air. You may not have been consciously aware of it when you married him, but you were, subconsciously."

The young woman protested: "But he's only a captain in the Fifty Suns navy, and he was an orphan raised by the state."

Lieutenant Neslor was cool. "He knows who he is, make no mistake. My only regret is that you married him so swiftly, thus barring me from making a detailed examination of his two minds. I am very curious about his history."

"He has told me everything."

"Noble lady," said the psychologist sharply. "Examine what you are saying. We are dealing with a man whose lowest I.Q. is more than 170. Every word you have spoken about him shows the bias of a woman for her lover.

"I am not," Lieutenant Neslor finished, "questioning your basic faith in him. As far as I have been able to determine he is an able and honest man. But your final decisions about the Fifty Suns must be made without reference to your emotional life. Do you see now?"

There was a long pause, and then an almost imperceptible nod. And then: "Put him off," she said in a drab voice, "at Atmion. We must turn back to Cassidor."

* * *

Maltby stood on the ground, and watched the Star Cluster fade into the blue mist of the upper sky. Then he turned, and caught a ground car to the nearest hotel. From there he made his first call. In an hour a young woman arrived. She saluted stiffly as she came into his presence. But as he stood watching her some of the hostility went out of her. She came forward, knelt gingerly, and kissed his hand.

"You may rise," Maltby said.

She stood up, and retreated, watching him with alert, faintly amused, faintly defiant gaze.

Maltby felt sardonic about it himself. Earlier generations of Mixed Men had decided that the only solution to leadership among so many immensely able men was an hereditary rulership. That decision had backfired somewhat when Peter Maltby, the only son of the last active hereditary leader, had been captured by the Dellians in the same battle that had killed his father. After long consideration, the lesser leaders had decided to reaffirm his rights.

They had even begun to believe that it would be of benefit to the Mixed Men to have their leader grow up among the people of the Fifty Suns. Particularly since good behavior on his part and by the other captured, now grown-up children, might be a way of winning back the good opinion of the Fifty Suns' people.

Some of the older leaders actually considered that the only hope of the race.

It was interesting to know that, in spite of Hunston's action, one woman partially recognized his status. Maltby said:

"My situation is this: I am wearing a suit which, I am convinced, is tuned to a finder on the Star Cluster. I want someone to wear it while I go to the hidden city."

The young woman inclined her head. "I am sure that can be arranged. The ship will come at midnight tomorrow to the rendezvous. Can you make it?"

"I'll be there."

The young woman hesitated. "Is there anything else?"

"Yes," said Maltby, "who's backing Hunston?"

"The young men." She spoke without hesitation.

"What about the young women?"

She smiled at that. "I'm here, am I not?"

"Yes, but only with half your heart."

"The other half," she said, unsmiling now, "is with a young man who is fighting in one of Hunston's armies."

"Why isn't your whole heart there?"

"Because I don't believe in deserting a system of government at the first crisis. We chose hereditary leadership for a definite period. We women do not altogether approve of these impulsive adventures, led by adventurers like Hunston, though we recognize that this is a crisis."

Maltby said gravely: "There will be many dead men before this is over. I hope your young man is not among them."

"Thank you," said the young woman. And went out.

* * *

There were nine nameless planets, nine hidden cities where the Mixed Men lived. Like the planets, the cities had no names. They were referred to with a very subtle accent on the article in the phrase "the city." The! In every case the cities were located underground, three of them beneath great, restless seas, two under mountain ranges, the other four—no one knew.

Actually, no one knew. The outlets were far from the cities, the tunnels that led to them wound so tortuously that the biggest spaceships had to proceed at very low speeds around the curves.

The ship that came for Maltby was only ten minutes late. It was operated mostly by women, but there were some older men along, including three of his long-dead father's chief advisers, fine-looking old men named Johnson, Saunders and Collings. Collings acted as spokesman:

"I'm not sure, sir, that you should come to the city. There is a certain hostility, even among the women. They are afraid for their sons, husbands and sweethearts, but loyal to them.

"All the actions of Hunston and the others have been secret. For months we have had no idea what is going on. There is positively no information to be had at the hidden city."

Maltby said: "I didn't expect there would be. I want to give a speech, outlining the general picture as I see it."

There was no clapping. The audience—there were about twenty thousand in the massive auditorium—heard his words in a silence that seemed to grow more intense as he described some of the weapons on board the Star Cluster, and the policies of Imperial Earth with respect to lost colonies like the Fifty Suns.

He knew the verbal picture he was drawing was not pleasing them, but he finished grimly:

"My conclusion is this: Unless the Mixed Men can arrive at some agreement with Earth, or discover some means of nullifying the power of Earth, then all the preliminary victories are futile, meaningless and certain to end in disaster. There is no power in the Fifty Suns strong enough to defeat the battleship Star Cluster let alone all the other ships that Earth could send here in an emergency. Therefore—"

He was cut off. All over the great hall, mechanical speakers shouted in unison:

"He's a spy for his Earth wife. He never was one of us."

Maltby smiled darkly. So Hunston's friends had decided his sobering arguments might get him somewhere, and this was their answer.

He waited for the mechanized interruptions to end. In vain! The minutes flew by, and the bedlam grew rather than lessened. The audience was not the kind that approved of noise as a logical form of argument. As Maltby watched, several angry young women tore down reachable loud-speakers. Since many were in the ceiling, it was not a general solution. The confusion increased.

Tensely, Maltby thought: They must know, Hunston and his men, that they were irritating their followers here. How did they dare take the risk?

The answer came like a flash: They were playing for time. They had something big up their collective sleeve, something that would overwhelm all irritation and all opposition.

A hand was tugging at his arm. Maltby turned. And saw that it was Collings. The old man looked anxious.

"I don't like this," he said urgently above the uproar. "If they'll go this far, then they might even dare to assassinate you. Perhaps you had better return at once to Atmion, or Cassidor, wherever you wish to go."

Maltby stood thoughtful. "It has to be Atmion," he said finally. "I don't want the people aboard the Star Cluster to suspect that I have been wandering. In one sense I no longer have any commitments there, but I think the contact might still be valuable."

He smiled wryly, because that was an understatement if there ever was one. It was true that Gloria had been conditioned out of love with him, but he had been left conditioned in love with her. No matter how hard he tried he couldn't dismiss the reality of that.

He spoke again: "You know how to get in touch with me if anything turns up."

That, too, was to laugh. He had a pretty shrewd idea that Hunston would make particularly certain that no information came to the hidden city on the nameless planet.

Just how he was going to obtain information was another matter.

Quite suddenly, he felt completely cast out. Like a pariah, he left the stage. The noise faded behind him.

* * *

He wandered out the days; and the puzzling thing to Maltby was that he heard nothing about the Star Cluster. For a month of hours, he went aimlessly from city to city; and the only news that came through was of the success of the Mixed Men.

Highly colored news it was. Everywhere, the conquerors must have seized radio control; and glowing accounts came of how the inhabitants of the Fifty Suns were wildly acclaiming their new rulers as leaders in the fight against the battleship from Imperial Earth. Against the human beings whose ancestors fifteen thousand years before had massacred all robots they could find, forcing the survivors to flee to this remote cloud of stars.

Over and over the theme repeated. No robot could ever trust a human being after what had happened in the past. The Mixed Men would save the robot world from the untrustworthy human beings and their battleship.

A very unsettling and chilling note of triumph entered the account every time the battleship was mentioned.

Maltby frowned over that, not for the first time, as he ate his lunch in an open-air restaurant on the thirty-first day. Soft, though vibrant music, poured over his head from a public announcer system. It was almost literally over his head, because he was too intent to be more than dimly aware of outside sound. One question dominated his thought:

What had happened to the battleship Star Cluster? Where could it be?

Gloria had said: "We shall take immediate action. Earth recognizes no governments by minorities. The Mixed Men will be given democratic privileges and equality, not dominance. That is final."

It was also, Maltby realized, reasonable IF human beings had really gotten over their prejudice against robots. It was a big if; and their prompt unloading of him from the ship proved that it wasn't a settled problem by any means.

The thought ended, as, above him, the music faded out on a high-pitched note. The brief silence was broken by the unmistakable voice of Hunston:

"To all the people of the Fifty Suns, I make this important announcement: The Earth battleship is a danger no more. It has been captured by a skillful trick of the Mixed Men and it is at Cassidor, where it is even now yielding its many secrets to the technical experts of the Mixed Men.

"People of the Fifty Suns, the days of strain and uncertainty are over. Your affairs will in future be administered by your kin and protectors, the Mixed Men. As their and your leader, I herewith dedicate the thirty billion inhabitants of our seventy planets to the task of preparing for future visitations from the main galaxy, and of insuring that no warship will ever again venture far into the Lesser Magellanic Cloud, which we now solemnly proclaim to be our living space, sacred and inviolable forever.

"But that is for the future. For the moment, we the people of the Fifty Suns have successfully circumvented the most hideous danger of our history. A three-day celebration is accordingly declared. I decree music, feasting and laughter—"

* * *

At first there seemed nothing to think. Maltby walked along a boulevard of trees and flowers and fine homes; and, after a while, his mind tried to form a picture of an invincible battleship captured with all on board—if they were still alive.

How had it been done. By all the blackness in space, how?

Mixed Men, with their hypnotically powerful double minds, if allowed aboard in sufficient numbers to seize mental control of all high officers, could have done it.

But who would be mad enough to let that first group get into the ship?

Until a month ago, the Star Cluster had had two protections at least against such a disastrous finale to its long voyage. The first was the ship's able psychologist, Lieutenant Neslor, who would unhesitatingly pry into the brain of every person who entered the machine.

The second safeguard was Captain Peter Maltby, whose double brain would instantly recognize the presence of another Mixed Man.

Only Maltby was not on the ship, but walking along this quiet, magnificent street, consuming himself with amazement and dismay. He was here because—

Maltby sighed with sudden immense understanding. So that was why the light-globe had appear to him, and why Hunston had been so plausible. The man's words had had nothing to do with his intentions. The whole act had been designed to force off of the ship the one man who would instantly sense the presence of Mixed Men.

It was difficult to know what he would have done if he had discovered them. To betray one's kin to death for the love of an alien woman, was almost unthinkable.

Yet he couldn't have allowed her ship to be captured.

Perhaps, his course would have been to warn the would-be conquerors to keep away.

The choice, forced upon him at the flash moment of attack, would have taxed the logic capacity of his brain.

It didn't matter now. The events had fallen their chance ways without reference to him. He couldn't change the larger aspect of them: The political seizure of the Fifty Suns government, the capture of a mighty battleship, all these were beyond the influence of a man who had been proved wrong by events, and who could now be killed without anybody, even his former supporters, worrying too much about him.

It wouldn't do to contact the hidden city in this hour of Hunston's triumph.

There remained a fact that he had to do something about. The fact that if the Star Cluster had been captured, then so had the Right Honorable Gloria Cecily. And the Lady Laurr of Noble Laurr was in addition to all her great titles Mrs. Peter Maltby.

That was the reality. Out of it grew the first purely personal purpose of his lonely life.

* * *

The naval yard spread before him. Maltby paused on the sidewalk a hundred feet from the main officers' entrance, and casually lighted a cigarette.

Smoking was primarily a non-Dellian habit; and he had never contracted it. But a man who wanted to get from planet IV of the Atmion sun to Cassidor VII without going by regular ship needed a flexible pattern of small actions to cover such moments as this.

He lit the cigarette, the while his gaze took in the gate and the officer in charge of the guard. He walked forward finally with the easy stride of a person of clear conscience.

He stood, puffing, while the man, a Dellian, examined his perfectly honest credentials. The casualness was a mask. He was thinking, in a mental sweat: It would be a Dellian. With such a man hypnotism, except under certain conditions of surprise, was almost impossible.

The officer broke the silence. "Step over to the postern, captain," he said. "I want to talk to you."

Maltby's primary mind sagged, but his secondary brain grew as alert as steel suddenly subjected to strain.

Was this discovery?

On the verge of slashing forth with his minds, he hesitated. Wait! he warned himself. Time enough to act if an attempt was made to sound an alarm. He must test to the limit his theory that Hunston wouldn't have had time to close all the gates against him.

He glanced sharply at the other's face. But the typically handsome countenance of a Dellian robot was typically impassive. If this was discovery, it was already too late for his special brand of hypnotism.

The robot began in a low voice, without preamble:

"We have orders to pick you up, captain."

He paused; he stared curiously at Maltby, who probed cautiously with his minds, met an invincible barrier, and withdrew, defeated but nonplussed. So far there was nothing menacing.

Maltby studied the fellow narrowly. "Yes?" he said cautiously.

"If I let you in," the Dellian said, "and something happened, say, a ship disappeared, I'd be held responsible. But if I don't let you in, and you just walk away, no one will guess that you've been here."

He shrugged, smiled. "Simple, eh?"

Maltby stared at the man gloomily. "Thanks," he said. "But what's the idea?"

"We're undecided."

"About what?"

"About the Mixed Men. This business of their taking over the government is all very well. But the Fifty Suns navy does not forswear, or swear, allegiance in ten minutes. Besides, we're not sure that Earth's offer was not an honest one."

"Why are you telling me this? After all, I am physically a Mixed Man."

The robot smiled. "You've been thoroughly discussed in the mess halls, captain. We haven't forgotten that you were one of us for fifteen years. Though you may not have noticed it, we put you through many tests during that period."

"I noticed," said Maltby, his face dark with memory. "I had the impression that I must have failed the tests."

"You didn't."

* * *

There was silence. But Maltby felt a stirring of excitement. He had been so intent on his own troubles that the reaction of the people of the Fifty Suns to cataclysmic political change had scarcely touched him.

Come to think of it, he had noticed among civilians the same uncertainty as this officer was expressing.

There was no doubt at all, the Mixed Men had seized control at a beautifully timed psychological moment. But their victory wasn't final. There was still opportunity here for the purposes of others.

Maltby said simply: "I want to get to Cassidor to find out what has happened to my wife. How can I manage it?"

"The grand captain of the Star Cluster is really your wife! That wasn't propaganda?"

Maltby nodded. "She's really my wife."

"And she married you knowing you were a robot?"

Maltby said: "I spent weeks in the battleship's library looking up Earth's version of the massacre of the robots, which took place fifteen thousand years ago. Their explanation was that it was a brief revival in the mass of the people of old-time race prejudices which, as you know, were rooted in fear of the alien and, of course, in pure elemental antipathy.

"The Dellian robot was such a superbly handsome being, and with his curious physical and mental powers seemed to be superior to naturally born men that, in one jump, the fear became a panicky hate, and the lynchings began."

"What about the non-Dellian robots, who made possible the escape, and yet about whom so little is known?"

Maltby laughed grimly. "That is the cream of the jest. Listen—"

When he had finished his explanation, the officer said blankly:

"And do the people of the Star Cluster know this?"

"I told them," Maltby said. "They were intending to make the announcement just before the battleship went back to Earth."

There was silence. Finally the Dellian said: "What do you think of this business of Mixed Men seizing our government and organizing for war?"

"I'm undecided."

"Like the rest of us."

"What troubles me," said Maltby, "is that there are bound to be other Earth battleships arriving, and some of them at least will not be captured by trickery."

"Yes," said the robot, "we've thought of that."

The silence settled, and lasted longer this time before Maltby brought out his request:

"Is there any way that I can get to Cassidor?"

The Dellian stood with closed eyes, hesitating. At last he sighed:

"There's a ship leaving in two hours. I doubt if Captain Terda Laird will object to your presence aboard. If you will follow me, captain."

Maltby went through the gate, and into the shadows of the great hangars beyond. There was an odd relaxedness inside him; and he was in space before he realized what it meant.

His taut sense of being alone in a universe of aliens was gone.

* * *

The darkness beyond the portholes was soothing to his creative brain. He sat staring into the black ink with its glinting brightness that were stars; and felt a oneness.

Nostalgic memory came of all the hours he had spent like this when he was a meteorologist in the Fifty Suns navy. Then he had thought himself friendless, cut off from these Dellian and non-Dellian robots by an unbridgeable suspicion.

The truth, perhaps, was that he had grown so aloof that no one had dared to try to close the gap.

Now, he knew the suspicion had long dimmed almost to vanishing. Somehow that made the whole Fifty Suns problem his again. He thought: a different approach to the rescue of Gloria was in order. A few hours before the landing, he sent his card to Captain Laird, and asked for an interview.

The commanding officer was a non-Dellian, lean and gray and dignified. And he agreed to every word, every detail of Maltby's plan.

"This whole matter," he said, "was threshed out three weeks ago, shortly after the Mixed Men seized power. In estimating the total number of warcraft available to Imperial Earth, we arrived at a figure that was almost meaningless, it was so large.

"It wouldn't be surprising," the officer continued earnestly, "if Earth could detach a warship for every man, woman and child in the Fifty Suns, and not perceptibly weaken the defenses of the main galaxy.

"We of the navy have been waiting anxiously for Hunston to make a statement either privately or publicly about that. His failure to do so is alarming, particularly as there is some logic in the argument that the first penetration of a new star system like our Lesser Magellanic Cloud, would be undertaken on the orders of the central executive."

"It's an Imperial mission," said Maltby, "working on a directive from the Emperor's council."

"Madness!" Captain Laird muttered. "Our new rulers are madmen."

He straightened, shaking his head, as if to clear it of darkness and confusion. He said in a resonant voice:

"Captain Maltby, I think I can guarantee you the full support of the navy in your effort to rescue your wife if . . . if she is still alive."

As he fell through the darkness an hour later, down and down and down, Maltby forced the warming effects of that promise to dim the grim import of the final words.

Once, his old sardonicism surged like a stirred fire; and he thought ironically: almost incredible that only a few months had passed since circumstances had made it necessary for Lieutenant Neslor, the Star Cluster's psychologist, to force on him an intense emotional attachment for Gloria; that attachment which, ever since, had been the ruling passion of his life.

She on the other hand had fallen for him naturally. Which was one of the reasons why their relationship was so precious.

The planet below was brighter, larger, a crescent sitting comfortably in space, its dark side sparkling with the silver flashing lights of tens of thousands of towns and cities.

That was where he headed, towards the twinkling dark side. He landed in a grove of trees; and he was burying his spacesuit beside a carefully marked tree, when the total blackness struck him.

Maltby felt himself falling over. He hit the ground with a sharp impact, distinctly aware of his consciousness fading out of his mind.

* * *

He woke up, amazed. And looked around him. It was still dark. Two of the three moons of Cassidor were well above the horizon; and they hadn't even been in sight when he landed. Their light shed vaguely over the small glade.

It was the same grove of trees.

Maltby moved his hands—and they moved; they were not tied. He sat up, then stood up.

He was alone.

There was not a sound, except the faint whispering of wind through the trees. He stood, eyes narrowed, suspicious; then, slowly, he relaxed. He had heard, he remembered suddenly, of unconsciousness like this overwhelming non-Dellians after a long fall through space. Dellians were not affected; and until this instant he had thought Mixed Men were also immune.

They weren't. There was no doubt about that.

He shrugged, and forgot about it. It took about ten minutes to walk to the nearest air stop. Ten minutes later he was at an air center.

He knew his way now. He paused in one of the forty entrances and, probing briefly with his two minds, satisfied himself that there were no Mixed Men among the masses of people surging towards the various escalators.

It was a tiny satisfaction at best. Tiny because he had known Hunston couldn't possibly spare the men for complicated patrol duty. The leader of the Mixed Men could talk as glibly as he pleased about his armies. But—Maltby smiled darkly—there was no such force.

The coup d'etat that had won Hunston control of the Fifty Suns was a far bolder, more risky accomplishment that was readily apparent. It must have been undertaken with less than a hundred thousand men—and the danger to Peter Maltby would be the point of disembarkation at the mighty city Della, capital of the Fifty Suns.

He had just bought his ticket, and was striding towards a fourth level escalator when the woman touched his arm.

In a single flash, Maltby had her mind, then as swiftly he relaxed.

He found himself staring at Lieutenant Neslor, chief psychologist of the Star Cluster.

* * *

Maltby set down his cup, and stared unsmilingly across the table at the woman psychologist.

"Frankly," he said, "I am not interested in any plan you may have for recapturing the ship. I am in a position where I cannot conscientiously take sides on the larger issues."

He paused. He studied her curiously, but without any real thought. The emotional life of the middle-aged woman had puzzled him at times. In the past, he had wondered if she had used the machines in her laboratories to condition herself against all human feeling. The memory of that thought touched his brain as he sat there.

The memory faded. It was information he wanted, not addenda on her character.

He said, more coldly: "To my mind, you are responsible for the ignominious capture of the Star Cluster, first because it was you, in your scientific wisdom, who had me, a protective force, put off the ship; second because it was your duty to explore the minds of those who were permitted aboard. I still can't understand how you could have failed."

The woman was silent. Thin and graying at the temples, handsome in a mature fashion, she sat sipping her drink. She met his gaze finally, steadily. She said:

"I'm not going to offer any explanations. Defeat speaks for itself."

She broke off, flashed: "You think our noble lady will fall into your arms with gratitude when you rescue her. You forget that she has been conditioned out of love with you, and that only her ship matters to her."

"I'll take my chances on that, and I'll take it alone. And if we are ever again subject to Earth laws, I shall exercise my legal rights."

Lieutenant Neslor's eyes narrowed. "Oh," she said, "you know about that. You did spend a great deal of time in the library, didn't you?"

Maltby said quietly: "I probably know more about Earth laws than any other individual on the Star Cluster."

"And you won't even listen to my plan, to use the thousand survivors to help in the rescue."

"I've told you, I cannot participate in the larger issues."

The woman stood up. "But you are going to try to rescue Lady Gloria?"


She turned without another word, and walked off. Maltby watched her until she disappeared through a distant door. After a moment there seemed nothing at all to think about the interview.

* * *

Grand Captain, the Right Honorable Gloria Cecily, the Lady Laurr of Noble Laurr, sat in the throne chair of her reception dais, and listened unsmilingly to the psychologist's report. It was not until the older woman had finished that the bleakness of the listener showed abatement.

Her voice, however, was sharp as she said:

"Then he definitely didn't suspect the truth? He didn't discover that the Star Cluster has never been captured. He didn't realize that it was you who made him unconscious when he landed in the grove of trees?"

Lieutenant Neslor said: "Oh, he was suspicious. But how could he so much as guess the larger truth? In view of our silence, how could he suspect that Hunston's triumphant announcement was only a part of the ever deadlier game he and we are playing, in our attempts to destroy each other? The very fact that Hunston has got an Earth battleship makes it particularly impossible for anybody to realize the truth."

The young noblewoman nodded, smiling now. She sat for a moment, proud eyes narrowed with thought, lips parted, gleaming white teeth showing.

That had not been the expression on her face when first she had learned that the Mixed Men also had an Earth battleship, and a marvelously new model at that, a ship whose type had been in the design stage for nearly eight hundred years.

Sitting there, all the knowledge she had on the subject of that new thundership, as it was called in the naval yards, was flashingly reviewed in her mind. How its nine hundred billion separate parts had gone into mass production seventy-five years before, with the expectation that the first ship would be completed at the end of seventy years, and additional ones every minute thereafter for five years.

The five years were up. Very few of the vessels would actually be in service as yet, but somewhere along the line one of them had been stolen.

Her feelings concerning the possession by the Mixed Men of such a battleship had been an imbalance of relief and alarm. Relief that the super-inventions of the Mixed Men were after all only stolen from the main galaxy. And alarm at the implications of such a capture.

What were Hunston's intentions? How did he intend to get around the fact that Imperial Earth had more warships than there were men, women and children in the Fifty Suns?

She said slowly: "Undoubtedly, the Mixed Men sent a ship to the main galaxy the moment they heard about us; and, of course, if enough of them ever got aboard one of our warships there would be no stopping them."

She broke off, more cheerfully: "I am glad that Captain Maltby did not question your account of how you and a thousand other crew members escaped when Hunston made his so-called seizure of the Star Cluster. I am not surprised that he refused to have anything to do with your hare-brained scheme for recapturing the battleship.

"The important thing is that, under cover of this pretty little story, you learned what we wanted to know: His love fixation for me is driving him to an attempt to board Hunston's battleship. When the indicator we have had pointing at him since he left us at Atmion indicates that he is inside the ship, then we shall act."

She laughed. "He's going to be a very surprised young man when he discovers what kind of clothes he is wearing."

Lieutenant Neslor said: "He may be killed."

There was silence. But the faint smile remained on the finely molded, handsome face of Lady Laurr. Lieutenant Neslor said quickly:

"Do not forget that your present antagonism towards him is influenced by your present comprehension of how deeply you had previously committed yourself to an emotional attachment."

"It is possible," admitted the grand captain steadily, "that your conditioning was over enthusiastic. Whatever the reason, I have no desire to feel other than I do now. You may therefore consider this a command: Under no circumstances am I to be reconditioned into my former state.

"The divorce between Captain Maltby and myself, now that it has taken place, is final. Is that clear?"

"Yes, noble lady."

* * *

Here were ships. Ships, ships, ships, more than Maltby had ever seen in the Cassidor yards. The Fifty Suns navy was undoubtedly being demobilized as fast as the Mixed Men could manage it.

The ships stretched in ranks to the north, to the east, to the south, as far as the eye could see. They lay in their cradles in long, geometric rows. Here and there surface hangars and repair shops broke that measured rhythm of straight line. But for the most part the buildings were underground, or rather, under sheeted plains of metal, hidden by a finely corrugated sea of translucent steel alloy.

The Earth battleship lay about four miles from the western entrance. The distance seemed to have no diminishing effect on its size.

It loomed colossal on the horizon, overshadowing the smaller ships, dominating the sky and the planet and the sections of city that spread beyond it. Nothing on Cassidor, nothing in the Fifty Suns system could begin to approach that mighty ship for size, for complication, for sheer appearance of power.

Even now, it seemed incredible to Maltby that so great a weapon, a machine that could destroy whole planets, had fallen intact into the hands of the Mixed Men, captured by a trick.

With an effort, Maltby drew his mind from that futile contemplation, and walked forward. He felt cold and steady and determined. The officer at the gate was a pleasant faced non-Dellian, who took him through, saying:

"There is an electronic matter transmitter focused from the ship's hold into the doorway of that building."

He motioned a hundred yards ahead and to one side, and went on:

"That will get you inside the battleship. Now, put this alarm device in your pocket."

Maltby accepted the tiny instrument curiously. It was an ordinary combination sending and receiving tube with a lock button to activate the signal.

"What's this for?" he asked.

"You're heading for the Grand Captain's bridge, are you not?"

Maltby nodded, but there was a thought beginning in his mind; and he did not trust himself to speak. He waited. The young man continued:

"As soon as you can, make every effort to go over to the control board and nullify energy flows, force connections, automatic screens and so on. Then press the signal."

The thought inside Maltby was an emptiness. He had a sudden sense of walking along the edge of an abyss.

"But what's the idea?" he asked blankly.

The answer was quiet, almost cool. "It has been decided," said the young officer, "to try to take the battleship. We got hold of some spare transmitters, and we are ready to put a hundred thousand men aboard in one hour from the various concentration centers. Whatever the result, in the confusion of the attack your chances of escaping with your wife will be augmented."

He broke off crisply: "You understand your instructions?"

Instructions! So that was it. He was a member of the Fifty Suns navy, and they took it for granted that he was subject to orders without question.

He wasn't of course. As hereditary leader of the Mixed Men, who had sworn allegiance to the Fifty Suns, and married the representative of Imperial Earth, his loyalty was a problem in basic ethics.

The wry thought came to Maltby that only an attack by the survivors of the Star Cluster was needed now. Led by Lieutenant Neslor, their arrival would just about make a perfect situation for a man whose mind was running around in circles, faster and faster every minute.

He needed time to think, to decide. And, fortunately, the time was going to be available. This decision didn't have to be made here and now. He would take the alarm device—and sound it or not according to his determination at the moment.

Relieved, he slipped the instrument into his pocket. He said quietly:

"Yes, I understand my instructions."

Two minutes later he was inside the battleship.

* * *

The storeroom, in which Maltby found himself, was deserted. That shocked him. It was too good to be true.

His gaze flashed over the room. He couldn't remember ever having been in it when he was aboard the Star Cluster. But then he had never had any reason to wander all over the mighty ship. Nor, for that matter, had he had time.

The room was a storehouse, ordinary, without interest for him.

Maltby walked swiftly over to the inter-room transmitter, reached up to press the toucher that would enable him to step from the hold into the grand captain's bridge. But at the last instant, his fingers actually on the toucher, he hesitated.

It had been wise, of course, to do everything boldly. The whole history of warfare taught that planned boldness, tempered with alertness, weighed heavily in the balance of victory.

Only he hadn't really planned.

Consciously, he let his secondary, his Dellian mind tilt forward. He stood very still, mentally examining his actions from the moment that Hunston had projected the globe of force into his bedroom, through the trip to Cassidor, the talk he had had with Lieutenant Neslor, and the suddenly announced plan of the Fifty Suns navy.

Thinking about it, it struck him sharply that the over-all, outstanding effect was of complication. The Dellian part of his brain, with its incisive logic, usually had little difficulty organizing seemingly unrelated facts into whatever unity was innate in them.

Yet now, it was slow in resolving the details. It took a moment to realize why: Each fact was a compound of many smaller facts, some of them partially resolvable by deduction, others though undoubtedly there, refused to come out of the mist.

There was no time to think about it. He had decided to enter the grand captain's cabin—and there was only one way to do it.

With an abrupt movement, he pressed the toucher. He stepped through into a brightly lighted room. A tall man was standing about a dozen feet from the transmitter, staring at it. In his fingers he held an In-no gun.

It was not until the man spoke that Maltby recognized Hunston. The Leader of the Mixed Men said in a ringing voice:

"Welcome, Captain Maltby, I've been waiting for you."

For once, boldness had failed.

* * *

Maltby thought of snatching his own In-no gun from its holster. He thought of it, but that was all. Because, first, he glanced over at the control board, to the section that governed the automatic defenses of the interior of the ship.

A single light glowed there. He moved his hand slowly. The light flickered, showing awareness of him. He decided not to draw his weapon.

The possibility that that light would be on had made it highly inadvisable to enter the main bridge, weapon in hand.

Maltby sighed and gave his full attention to the other. It was seven years since he had seen Hunston. The man's physical development since then was worthy of attention. Like all men with Dellian blood in them, like Maltby himself, Hunston was a superbly well-proportioned being.

His mother must have been a blonde and his father a very dark brunette, because his hair had come out the curious mixture of gold and black that always resulted from such a union. His eyes were gray-blue.

Seven years before Hunston had been slenderer, and somehow immature in spite of his confidence and personality. That was all gone now. He looked strong and proud, and every inch a leader of men. He said without preamble:

"Basically, the facts are these: This is not the Star Cluster. My statement about that was political maneuvering. We captured this battleship from a naval yard in the main galaxy. A second battleship, now in process of being captured, will soon be here. When it arrives, we shall engage the Star Cluster in a surprise attack."

The change of Maltby's status from rescuer to dupe was as swift as that. One instant he was a man tensed with determination, geared to withstand any danger; the next a fool, his purpose made ludicrous.

He said: "B-but—"

It was a sound, not a reaction. A word expressing blankness, a thoughtless state, which preceded the mind storm, out of which grew understanding. Before Maltby could speak, Hunston said:

"Someone advised us that you were coming. We assume it was your wife. We assume furthermore that there is hostile purpose behind every move she is making. Accordingly, we prepared for any emergency. There are ten thousand Mixed Men inside this ship. If your arrival here is to be the signal for an attack, it will have to be well-organized indeed to surprise us."

Once more, there were too many facts. But after a moment, Maltby thought of the Fifty Suns navy men, waiting to enter the battleship, and flinched. He parted his lips to speak, and closed them again as his Dellian mind projected into his primary the memory of his meeting with Lieutenant Neslor.

The logic capacity of that secondary mind was on a plane that had no human parallel. There was a flashing connection made between the meeting with the psychologist and the blackness that had struck him down at the moment of his landing on Cassidor.

Instantly, that marvelous secondary brain examined a thousand possibilities, and, since it had enough clues at last, came forth with the answer.

The suit he was wearing!!! He must have been made unconscious, in order to substitute it for the one he had been wearing. Any minute, any second, it would be activated.

Sweating, Maltby pictured the resulting clash of titans: Ten thousand Mixed Men versus a major portion of the crew of the Star Cluster versus one hundred thousand men of the Fifty Suns navy.

If only that last group would wait for his signal, then he could save them by not sounding it. Sharp consciousness came that he ought to speak, but first—

He must find out if the suit had been energized.

He put his arm behind his back, and pushed his hand cautiously into his back. It went in four inches, six inches; and still there was only emptiness. Slowly, Maltby withdrew his arm.

The suit was activated all right.

* * *

Hunston said: "Our plan is to destroy the Star Cluster, then Earth itself."

"W-what?" said Maltby.

He stared. He had a sudden feeling that he had not heard correctly. He echoed, his voice loud in his own ears:

"Destroy Earth!"

Hunston nodded coolly. "It's the only logical course. If the one planet is destroyed, on which men know of the Star Cluster's expedition to the Lesser Magellanic Cloud, then we shall have time to expand, to develop our civilization; and eventually, after a few hundred years of intensive breeding of Mixed Men, we will have enough population to take over the control of the main galaxy itself."

"But," Maltby protested, "Earth is the center of the main galaxy. All the government is there, the Imperial symbol. It's the head of the planets of 3000 million suns. It—"

He stopped. The fear that came was all the greater because it was not personal.

"Why, you madman!" he cried angrily. "You can't do a thing like that. It would disorganize the entire galaxy."

"Exactly." Hunston nodded with satisfaction. "We would definitely have the time we need. Even if others knew of the Star Cluster expedition, no one would connect it with the catastrophe, and no other expedition would be sent."

He paused. Then went on:

"As you see, I have been very frank with you. And you will not have failed to note that our entire plan depends on whether or not we can first destroy the Star Cluster. In this," he finished quietly, "we naturally expect the assistance of the hereditary leader of the Mixed Men."

* * *

There was silence in the great room. The bank on bank of control board remained impassive, except for the solitary anti-light that glowed like a faint beacon from its deep-inset tube.

Standing there, Maltby grew aware of a thought. It had only an indirect relation to the request Hunston had just made, and it wasn't new. He tried to fight it, but it remained strong, and grew stronger, a developing force in his mind. It was the conviction that he would yet have to take sides in this struggle of three powerful groups.

He couldn't allow Earth to be destroyed!

With a terrible effort, he finally forced the thought aside, and looked at Hunston. The man was staring at him with a narrow-eyed anxiety that abruptly startled Maltby.

He parted his lips to make a sardonic comment about a usurper who had the gall to ask help from the man he was striving to displace. But Hunston spoke first:

"Maltby—what is the danger? What is their plan in having you come here? You must know by this time."

Almost, Maltby had forgotten about that. Once more he was about to speak. But this time he stopped himself.

There was another thought forming in the back of his mind. It had been there for many months, and in its more detailed conception it was actually his solution to the whole Fifty Suns problem. In the past, the knowledge that the solution required one man to convince three groups, actually to control the three hostile groups at a given hour, and to force them to yield to his will, had made the whole idea ridiculous and impractical.

Now, in one mental jump, he saw how it could be done. But hurry, hurry! Any instant the suit he was wearing would be used. He said violently:

"It's this room! If you value your life, get out of it at once."

Hunston stared at him, bright-eyed. He seemed unafraid. He asked in an interested tone:

"This room is the danger point because you're in it?"

"Yes," said Maltby—and held his arms out slightly, and his head up, so that the energy of Hunston's In-no gun would not hit them.

His body tensed for the run forward.

Instead of shooting, Hunston frowned.

"There's something wrong. Naturally, I wouldn't leave you in charge of the control room of this battleship. Accordingly, you're practically asking me to kill you. It's obvious that if you're the danger, then you must die. Too obvious."

He added sharply: "That anti-light watching you—the moment I fire, its automatic defenses are nullified; and you can use a gun too. Is that what you're waiting for?"

It was.

All Maltby said was: "Get out of this room. Get out, you fool!"

Hunston did not move, but some of the color had faded from his cheeks. He said:

"The only danger we've been able to imagine is if somehow they managed to get a Star Cluster transmitter aboard."

He stared at Maltby. "We haven't been able as yet to figure out how those transmitters work, but we do know this: There is no liaison between the transmitters of one ship and another. They're tuned differently, and set. No amount of manipulation can change them, once completed. But YOU must have had opportunity to learn the secret of their operation. Tell me."

Tell me! It was clear now that he would have to attack in spite of the anti-light. That meant muscles only, which needed a fractional surprise. Starting to tell might do the trick.

But what an odd irony that Hunston and his technical experts had correctly reasoned out the exact nature of the danger. And yet now Hunston, standing in front of a man who was wearing a suit of clothes, both the back and front of which were transmitters, did not begin to suspect.

Maltby said: "Transmitters work in much the same way that the first Dellian robots were made, only they use the original components. The robot constructors took an electronic image of a human being, and constructed an exact duplicate from organic matter. Something was wrong of course because the Dellians never were mental duplicates of the original human beings, and there were even physical differences. Out of the difference grew the hatred that eventually resulted in the robot massacres of fifteen thousand years ago.

"But never mind that. These matter transmitters reduce the body to an electronic flow, transmit without loss, and then rebuild the body. The process has become as simple as turning on a light and—"

It was at that point that Maltby launched his attack.

* * *

The awful fear that Hunston would aim at his feet, arms or head, ended. Because in that ultimate moment, the man hesitated and like a thousand million men before him was lost.

The In-no gun did flash, as Maltby grabbed at the wrist of the hand that held it. But the fire sprayed harmlessly against the impregnable floor. And then the gun clattered out of the fight.

"You scoundrel!" Hunston gasped. "You knew I wouldn't fire on the hereditary leader of the Mixed Men. You traitor—"

Maltby had known nothing of the kind. And he did not waste time in consideration of it. Hunston's voice stopped because Maltby had his head in a vicelike grip, and was pulling it towards and into his chest. The surprise of that must have been staggering. For a vital moment Hunston ceased his struggling.

During that moment, Maltby stuffed him through the transmitter seemingly right into his own body.

Even as the last squirming foot was shoved out of sight, Maltby was tearing at the fasteners of the suit. He rolled the suit down, so that the transmitter surfaces faced one against the other.

Frantically, he climbed all the way out of the suit and, racing over to the control board, adjusted the anti-light to work for him, and made a dozen other adjustments that he knew about. A minute later, the ship was his.

There remained the necessity of telling the three groups his decision. And there remained—Gloria!

* * *

The Dellians and non-Dellians of the Fifty Suns accepted the decision the moment they realized the Star Cluster had not been captured by the Mixed Men, and that Earth guaranteed them protection.

The information that the non-Dellians were NOT robots at all but descendants of human beings who had helped the original robots to escape from the massacres did not have the sensational effect anticipated by Maltby. It merely made everything easier, to realize that human beings had pretended to be robots for the sake of subsequent generations; and that it had worked out all right.

The Mixed Men, their volatile leader Hunston a prisoner aboard the Star Cluster, agreed because Maltby was after all their hereditary chieftain, because their chances of ever capturing another battleship were zero, now that all ships in the main galaxy would be warned of their methods. And because their new status was that of complete equality within the government of the Fifty Suns, INCLUDING a guarantee that when a Dellian married a non-Dellian, the couple would no longer be forbidden to have children by the cold-pressure system.

Since the child resulting from such a union would invariably be a Mixed Man, it assured that ultimately and by legal and natural development there would only be Mixed Men in the Fifty Suns—and eventually in the main galaxy, too.

On the tenth day, the captains in session aboard the Star Cluster sat on an entirely different case. The case of Grand Captain, the Right Honorable Gloria Cecily, the Lady Laurr of Noble Laurr, estranged from her husband, Peter Maltby, by psychological means because of an emergency.

The judgment handed down made intergalactic legal history. The judges held:

(1) That the law relating to the reintegration of artificially imposed psychological pressures did not apply to Captain Maltby, a non-citizen of Imperial Earth at the time he was conditioned, but does apply to the Lady Gloria, a citizen born.

(2) That since Captain Maltby has been made permanent agent to Earth for the Fifty Suns, and since this is the Lady Gloria's last trip into space on a warship, no geographical barriers exist to a continuation of the marriage.

(3) It is accordingly ordered that the Lady Gloria be given the necessary treatment to return her to her former condition of loving affection for her husband.



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