moured men had stamped to Quist’s side and pinioned
her arms, and confronted the cowering Cyclopeans in
the public seats. He had intercepted a list of those invited
which was supplied to the news service, and knew that
all those he would name were present.
“Sophy Alt, I charge you with conspiracy with Alea-
zar Rimerley and Lors Heirndall and others to kill one
Mara Rustum and dismember her corpse. Don Ambon-
ine, I charge you with conspiracy with the same parties
to kill one Ali Qurab and dismember his corpse. Ved
Conakry, I charge you”
And so on, the entire miserable tale of Rimerley’s rich
clients and their miserable victims, until there were more
than thirty men and women shivering with terror before
Then he handed the documents from which he had
been reading to one of his men, threw back his helmet,
and strode to the dais. With the entire attention of the
planet riveted on him, he began.
“People of Cyclops, and in particular you offworld
visitors who have come here to attend the conference I
so rudely interrupted”he gave them a a sidelong glance
and saw they were listening as inteody as everyone
else”I want to explain the story behind the shocking
scene you have just witnessed.
“You all know about the Zarathustra Refugee Planets.
You perhaps also know that many moreperhaps well
over a million morepeople escaped from the Zarathus-
tra nova than we have to date accounted for.
“Well, we have learned in the past few days that an-
other shipload survived, on a world whose existence was
discovered by accident and not notified to my Corps.
The discoverer was the captain of a tramp space-
freighter, named Lors Heirndall. He was making a some-
what unusual journey along a route served by no regular
space-lines, when the strain proved too great for his en-
gines and he was forced to make an emergency landing
to conduct repairs on a Class Athat’s a tolerably habit-
ableplanet in an unvisited system.
“There, he discovered the descendants of a group of
Irani-stock Zarathustrans, making the best of what they
“He kept the discovery to himself and his crew, be-
lieving that in some way he would eventually be able to
exploit this secret. Not long afterwards, his chance oc-
curred. A certain Justin Kolb, celebrated on Cyclops for
his part in an accident in space, required the replacement
of his right leg. Although he was in the care of your
planet’s leading surgeon, Aleazar Rimerley, the facilities
here were not adequate for full-scale limb regeneration,
and sending a patient to a more prosperous world is
“Heirndall went to Rimerley with a proposition. He
could secure for Kolb a replacement graft, a limb
matched closely to his own, for a fraction of the cost of
regeneration; Rimerley could charge his clientnot
Kolb; Alura Quist was paying, out of your planetary
fundsthe cost of a regeneration, and Heirndall and Ri-
merley could split the surplus profit.
“Rimericy accepted the offer. And Heirndall sectired
the limb as promised, by a peculiarly unpleasant decep-
tion practised on the unfortunate inhabitants of his pri-
“In the early days of their life there, they had insti-
tuted a humane system of quarantine for people suffering
from disease beyond their limited resources to cureand
there were plenty of those. Volunteers acted as what
they called Receivers of the Sick, to convey them away
from their community and the danger of infecting oth-
ers, and tended them until they recovered or died.
“This system was on the verge of disappearanceso
often had the Receivers died of the same illness as their
patients, the idea seemed no longer practical. But Heim-
dall set himself and his men up as a new team of Re-
ceivers, worming their way into the natives’ confidence
and taking away not the truly ill, whom they preferred
to disregard, but those whose bodily characteristics ren-
dered them suitable as suppliers of spare parts.
“For Rimerley had seen the possibilities in an unlim-
ited supply of graft material. Not many people on Cy-
clops are rich, but those who are are disproportionately
so, and as greedy for youth as for material wealth. As