forced chuckle. “Hardly, I’m afraid. Some people seem
to have exaggerated ideas of what our medicine can ac-
complish. Limb-regeneration overnight isn’t among our
She had expected no other answer, but she had been
unable to prevent the words from emergingthey were
driven by the savage jealousy she felt towards the
Corpsman for his payment in youth and health.
No matter, anyhow. Justin had lost that leg before,
and more than simply the foot and lower partthe
whole of it, almost all the way to the hip, from space-
“Thank you for your courtesy in telling me,” she said
without warmth. “I’d have appreciated earlier notifica-
tion, of course.”
“It was my belief that you had other things to occupy
your mind,” Langenschmidt countered mildly.
With a snarl which made her glad communicator links
on Cyclops were restricted to sound without vision,
Quist forced herself to maintain calm. She said, “I will
have transport sent in the morning, to bring him home.
Will that be convenient?”
“I imagine so, but send a doctor as well, of course.”
Langenschmidt sounded a trifle surprised, as though he
had expected an attempt to persuade him that Kolb’s leg
should be restored at the Corps hospital.
“Of course,” Quist echoed, and silenced the communi-
She waited a second. Then she spoke to it again. “Find
me Dr Aleazar Rimerley, and be quick about it!”
Dr Rimerley was enjoying the sunset when the call
came. He was among the wealthiest men on Cyclops,
and his home consisted of the surface and the heart of an
entire island, some mile or so in circumference. His liv-
ing quarters were built out into the ocean, so that when
he choseas nowhe could sit on a higher level and
watch the sky, or else he could move down to the seabed
and enjoy the vivid panorama of the ocean’s summer life.
His chief personal servant brought news of the call.
He rubbed his chin in wonder; he had not been intend-
ing to get in contact with Quist again just yet, but a
further deal was certain once simple cosmetic treatment
ceased to stave off time’s ravages. Now, therefore, was as
good a time as any to talk to her, since she had initiated
He smiled automatically even though she could not see
him, and said with extreme heartiness, “My dear Alura
Quist! What an honour to speak with you after all this
She brushed aside the social formalities and went
straight to the point.
“Doctor, I have another job for you. As far as I know,
you’re the only person on Cyclops capable of tackling
“Pll do my best,” Rimeriey agreed, and repressed a
smile that was more sincere than the original one.
“Justin Kolb has lost his leg again. Wolfshark-hunt-
Rimerley blinked. He had expected something alto-
gether different, almost certainly for Quist herself. This
request took him aback.
“I’m having him brought to you tomorrow morning. I
count on you to do as thorough a job of regeneration as
you did the last time.”
“Ahjust a moment,” Rimerley said uncomfortably.
“It’s not the sort of job that can be tackled on a few
hours’ notice, you understand.” In the back of his mind
he was running calculations; so long to locate material,
so long to make the tissue immunologically neutral, so
long to get it here. “I doubt whether it would be pos-
sible to handle the case in less than two weeks, I’m
“That’s my rough estimate. Of course, I may be-”
“Then I might just as well leave him where he is. He’ll
be better looked after than in one of our second-rate
A warning tremor ran down Rimerley’s spine. He said
in a voice suddenly fainter than normal, “Ahwhere is
“In the Corps Galactica hospital. He was taken there
after some fisherman rescued him from the water.”
“Dr Rimerley?” Quist demanded at last, sounding
She was not half as alarmed as Rimerley himself. He
could barely choke out his answer.
“On uh-on second thoughts, perhaps it would be
better to have him brought here. At once, the sooner the