Repairmen of Cyclops by John Brunner

“He’s a two-edged sword,” Langenschmidt internipt-

ed. “To use one of the archaic phrases you seem to like!

If I do hold him instead of sending him off to Rimerley,

it’ll be like sounding an alarm bell. You can bet that Ri-

merley is involved, to start with. He’ll signal the team

collecting material on the ZRP, they’ll pull out instantly,

and even if we do locate the planet we’ll never find

proof of any connection with Cyclops apart from a ten-

uous link via the gene-type of the tissue. And short of

finding the rest of the original owner, or his surviving

identical twin, we’ll never bring the matter to trial.”

“You’re quite right, of course,” Maddalena confirmed.

“Will you wait until they actually bring the new graft

down for him?”

“If we can spot that being done. Which I doubt. I ex-

pect we’ll have to locate the ZRP and catch the collec-

tors red-handed. And I don’t have to tell you what a )ob

that’ll be!”

“I don’t even see how” Maddalena checked. “Oh yes,

I guess it could be done, at that. It must be possible to

find out the high-Irani areas of Zarathustra, and compute

the most likely courses which ships leaving that part of

the planet would have followed. But it’ll be the devil’s

own problem, even then, and the search might take


“Years,” said Langenschmidt succinctly. “Damn it,

we’re searching for ZRP’s all the time, and if we haven’t

found this one by now, it must be in a highly improba-

ble corner of space.”

“How could the Cyclopeans have found it, do you


“Shall we ask them when we catch them?” Langen-

schmidt snapped, and was immediately repentant. “Sorry!

I didn’t mean to bark at you like that.”

“No, I’m the one who should apologise. After all, it’s

still only a suspicion, and I’ve no business pestering you

as if it was already proven. And you are tired. I’ll leave

you in peace. Will you have me roused in the morning

in time to see Kolb collected? I’d beinterested.”

“Surely,” Langenschmidt agreed, and gave her a

weary smile which she returned with warmth.

As she was walking away, he called after her.



“Too soon to ask your views on non-interference

again, hub?”

“Now who’s treating my suspicions as a proven fact?”

“Right.” Langenschmidt smiled again, with greater

naturalness this time. “Good night. Andit’s good to see

you after all this time.”

“In spite of all the trouble I’ve brought with me? I’m



“Get away from that girl!” rasped Lors Heirndall.

The two members of his team who had been bending

over the unconscious form of Soraya jerked and spun

around. They had drawn back the light coverlet to ex-

pose her high, youthful bosom and flat firm belly, and

the next stage in their plan took very little deduction to

work out.

“What’s wrong with you?” the older of them grunted.

“Are we getting a high price for virgins this trip, or

something? It’s not going to make any odds in the long


“Get the hell out of here!” Heirndall thundered, and

tugged aside his black robe to reveal the butt of his en-

ergy gun.

The two men exchanged glances, shrugged, and com-


Heirndall re-belted his robe and wiped a trace of sweat

from his face. He dared not tell his subordinates just

how necessary it was to get the girl home in perfect con-

dition; one hint of the danger they had all been running

since Kolb was taken to the Corps hospital, and they

would desert forthwith.

Still, luck was on his side so far. To have got his hands

on the girl, the very same day he received the request

from Rimerley, was remarkable, and had greatly built up

his confidence. Of course, she was rather dark-complex-

ioned, like nine out of ten of the inhabitants, but there

were ways of eliminating the melanin secretion which

caused that. And in every other respect she was close to

perfect: the right build, the right proportions, the right

category as regards immunological reactions. . . Rimer-

ley had said, in view of the importance attaching to this

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