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Unwise Child - Chapter 24 Unwise Child - Chapter 24

Unwise Child - Chapter 24
Leda Crannon helped Mike pack his gear. Neither of them wanted, just yet, to bring up the subject of Mike's leaving. Leda would remain behind on Eisberg to work with Snookums, while Mike would be taking the _Fireball back to Earth. "I don't understand that remark you made about the spacesuit," she said, putting shirts into Mike's gear locker. "You said you'd put your life in his hands or something like that. What did you do, exactly?" "Purposely abraded the sleeve of my suit so that he would be in a position to repair it, as Maintenance Officer. He fixed it,... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 2868

Unwise Child - Chapter 23 Unwise Child - Chapter 23

Unwise Child - Chapter 23
Captain Sir Henry Quill, Bart., stood at the head of the long table in the officers' wardroom and looked everyone over. The way he did it was quite impressive. His eyes were narrowed, and his heavy, thick, black brows dominated his face. Beneath the glow plates in the overhead, his pink scalp gleamed with the soft, burnished shininess of a well-polished apple. To his left, in order down the table, were Mike the Angel, Lieutenant Keku, and Leda Crannon. On his right were Commander Jeffers, Ensign Vaneski, Lieutenant Commander von Liegnitz, and Dr. Morris Fitzhugh. Lieutenant Mellon's seat was empty. Black... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 1818

Unwise Child - Chapter 22 Unwise Child - Chapter 22

Unwise Child - Chapter 22
Captain Sir Henry Quill scowled and rubbed his finger tips over the top of his shiny pink pate. "Your evidence isn't enough to convict, Golden Wings." "I know it isn't, Captain," admitted Mike the Angel. "That's why I want to round everybody up and do it this way. If he can be convinced that we _do have the evidence, he may crack and give us a confession." "What about Lieutenant Mellon's peculiar actions? How does that tie in?" "Did you ever hear of Lysodine, Captain?" Captain Quill leaned back in his chair and looked up at Mike. "No. What is it?"... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 2319

Unwise Child - Chapter 21 Unwise Child - Chapter 21

Unwise Child - Chapter 21
Mike the Angel stepped into the cargo air lock of the _Brainchild_, stood morosely in the center of the cubicle, and watched the outer door close. Eight other men, clad, like himself, in regulation Space Service spacesuits, also looked wearily at the closing door. Chief Multhaus, one of the eight, turned his head to look at Mike the Angel. "I wish that thing would close as fast as my eyes are going to in about fifteen minutes, Commander." His voice rumbled deeply in Mike's earphones. "Yeah," said Mike, too tired to make decent conversation. Eight hours--all of them spent tearing down... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 3202

Unwise Child - Chapter 20 Unwise Child - Chapter 20

Unwise Child - Chapter 20
If you ignite a jet of oxygen-nitrogen in an atmosphere of hydrogen-methane, you get a flame that doesn't differ much from the flame from a hydrogen-methane jet in an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere. A flame doesn't particularly care which way the electrons jump, just so long as they jump. All of which was due to give Mike the Angel more headaches than he already had, which was 100 per cent too many. Three days after the _Brainchild landed, the scout group arrived from the base that had been built on Eisberg to take care of Snookums. The leader, a heavy-set engineer named Treadmore,... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 474

Unwise Child - Chapter 19 Unwise Child - Chapter 19

Unwise Child - Chapter 19
The interstellar ship _Brainchild orbited around her destination, waiting during the final checkup before she landed on the planet below. It was not a nice planet. As far as its size went, it could be classified as "Earth type," but size was almost the only resemblance to Earth. It orbited in space some five hundred and fifty million miles from its Sol-like parent--a little farther away from the primary than Jupiter is from Sol itself. It was cold there--terribly cold. At high noon on the equator, the temperature reached a sweltering 180 deg. absolute; it became somewhat chillier toward the poles.... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 1809

Unwise Child - Chapter 18 Unwise Child - Chapter 18

Unwise Child - Chapter 18
Captain Sir Henry Quill opened the door of the late Lieutenant Mellon's quarters and went in, followed by Mike the Angel. The dead man's gear had to be packed away so that it could be given to his nearest of kin when the officers and crew of the _Brainchild returned to Earth. Regulations provided that two officers must inventory his personal effects and those belonging to the Space Service. "Does Chief Pasteur know what killed him yet, Captain?" Mike asked. Quill shook his head. "No. He wants my permission to perform an autopsy." "Are you going to let him?" "I think... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 1756

Unwise Child - Chapter 15 Unwise Child - Chapter 15

Unwise Child - Chapter 15
Midnight, ship time. And, as far as the laws of simultaneity would allow, it was midnight in Greenwich, England. At least, when a ship returned from an interstellar trip, the ship's chronometer was within a second or two, plus or minus, of Greenwich time. Theoretically, the molecular vibration clocks shouldn't vary at all. The fact that they did hadn't yet been satisfactorily accounted for. Mike the Angel tried to make himself think of clocks or the variations in space time or anything else equally dull, in the hope that it would put him to sleep. He began to try to work... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 3129

Unwise Child - Chapter 14 Unwise Child - Chapter 14

Unwise Child - Chapter 14
Mike the Angel spent the next three days in a pale blue funk which he struggled valiantly against, at least to prevent it from becoming a deep blue. There was something wrong aboard the _Brainchild_, and Mike simply couldn't quite figure what it was. He found that he wasn't the only one who had been asked peculiar questions by Snookums. The little robot seemed to have developed a sudden penchant for asking seemingly inane questions. Lieutenant Keku reported with a grin that Snookums had asked him if he knew who Commander Gabriel _really was. "What'd you say?" Mike had asked. Keku... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 3137

Unwise Child - Chapter 13 Unwise Child - Chapter 13

Unwise Child - Chapter 13
Leda Crannon sat down on the edge of the bunk in Mike the Angel's stateroom, accepted the cigarette and light that Mike had proffered, and waited while Mike poured a couple of cups of coffee from the insul-jug on his desk. "I wish I could offer you something stronger, but I'm not much of a drinker myself, so I don't usually take advantage of the officer's prerogative to smuggle liquor aboard," he said as he handed her the cup. She smiled up at him. "That's all right; I rarely drink, and when I do, it's either wine or a _very diluted... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 1999

Unwise Child - Chapter 12 Unwise Child - Chapter 12

Unwise Child - Chapter 12
The _William Branchell_--dubbed _Brainchild_--fled Earth at ultralight velocity, while officers, crew, and technical advisers settled down to routine. The only thing that disturbed that routine was one particularly restless part of the ship's cargo. Snookums was a snoop. Cut off from the laboratories which had been provided for his special work at Chilblains, he proceeded to interest himself in the affairs of the human beings which surrounded him. Until his seventh year, he had been confined to the company of only a small handful of human beings. Even while the _William Branchell was being built, he hadn't been allowed any more... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 2638

Unwise Child - Chapter 11 Unwise Child - Chapter 11

Unwise Child - Chapter 11
"What I want to know," said Lieutenant Keku, "is, what kind of ship is this?" Mike the Angel chuckled, and Lieutenant Mellon, the Medical Officer, grinned rather shyly. But young Ensign Vaneski looked puzzled. "What do you mean, sir?" he asked the huge Hawaiian. They were sitting over coffee in the officers' wardroom. Captain Quill, First Officer Jeffers, and Lieutenant Commander von Liegnitz were on the bridge, and Dr. Fitzhugh and Leda Crannon were down below, giving Snookums lessons. Mike looked at Lieutenant Keku, waiting for him to answer Vaneski's question. "What do I mean? Just what I said, Mister Vaneski.... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 1906

Unwise Child - Chapter 10 Unwise Child - Chapter 10

Unwise Child - Chapter 10
The _Brainchild lifted from Antarctica at exactly 2100 hours, Greenwich time. For three days the officers and men of the ship had worked as though they were the robots instead of their passenger--or cargo, depending on your point of view. Supplies were loaded, and the great engine-generators checked and rechecked. The ship was ready to go less than two hours before take-off time. The last passenger aboard was Snookums, although, in a more proper sense, he had always been aboard. The little robot rolled up to the elevator on his treads and was lifted into the body of the ship. Miss... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 765

Unwise Child - Chapter 9 Unwise Child - Chapter 9

Unwise Child - Chapter 9
Captain Sir Henry (Black Bart) Quill was seated in an old-fashioned, formyl-covered, overstuffed chair, chewing angrily at the end of an unlighted cigar. His bald head gleamed like a pink billiard ball, almost matching the shining glory of his golden insignia against his scarlet tunic. Mike the Angel had finally found his way through the maze of underground passageways to the door marked _wardroom 9 and had pushed it open gingerly, halfway hoping that he wouldn't be seen coming in late but not really believing it would happen. He was right. Black Bart was staring directly at the door when it... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 2894

Unwise Child - Chapter 8 Unwise Child - Chapter 8

Unwise Child - Chapter 8
The underground tubeway shot Mike the Angel across five miles of track at high speed. Mike left the car at Stage Twelve and headed up the stairway and down the corridor to a heavy double door marked _freight loading_. He put on his parka and went through the door. The foyer was empty, and, like the one at the rocket landing, protected from the Antarctic blast only by a curtain of hot air. Outside that curtain, the light seemed to lose itself in the darkness of the bleak, snow-filled Wastelands. Mike ignored the snowscape and headed across the empty foyer to... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 1792

Unwise Child - Chapter 5 Unwise Child - Chapter 5

Unwise Child - Chapter 5
Mike the Angel was sitting behind his desk in his private office when the announcer chimed. Mike narrowed his eyes and turned on his door screen, which connected with an eye in the outer door of the suite. Who could it be this time? It was Sergeant Cowder. "You got here fast," said Mike, thumbing the unlocker. "Come on back to my office." The sergeant came through the outer office while Mike watched him on the screen. Not until the officer finally pushed open the door to Mike's own office did Mike the Angel look up from the screen. "I repeat,"... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 803

Unwise Child - Chapter 4 Unwise Child - Chapter 4

Unwise Child - Chapter 4
Mike the Angel did not believe in commuting. Being a bachelor, he could afford to indulge in that belief. In his suite of offices on 112th Street, there was one door marked "M. R. Gabriel." Behind that door was his private secretary's office, which acted as an effective barrier between himself and the various employees of the firm. Behind the secretary's office was his own office. There was still another door in his inner office, a plain, unmarked door that looked as though it might conceal a closet. It didn't. It was the door to a veddy, veddy expensive apartment with... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 2425

Unwise Child - Chapter 3 Unwise Child - Chapter 3

Unwise Child - Chapter 3
Sergeant Cowder looked the room over and took a drag from his cigarette. "Well, that's that. Now--what happened?" He looked from Mike the Angel to Harry MacDougal and back again. Both of them appeared to be thinking. "All right," he said quietly, "let me guess, then." Old Harry waved a hand. "Oh no, Sergeant; 'twon't be necessary. I think Mr. Gabriel was just waiting for me to start, because he wasn't here when the two rapscallions came in, and I was just tryin' to figure out where to begin. We're not bein' unco-operative. Let's see now--" He gazed at the ceiling... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 1073

Unwise Child - Chapter 2 Unwise Child - Chapter 2

Unwise Child - Chapter 2
Mike the Angel kept his hand in his pocket, his thumb on a little plate that was set in the side of the small mechanism that was concealed therein. As he neared the door, the little plate began to vibrate, making a buzz which could only be felt, not heard. Mike sighed to himself. Vibroblades were all the rage this season. He pushed open the rear door rapidly and stepped inside. It was just what he'd expected. His eyes saw and his brain recorded the whole scene in the fraction of a second before he moved. In that fraction of a... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 2829

Unwise Child - Chapter 1 Unwise Child - Chapter 1

Unwise Child - Chapter 1
The kids who tried to jump Mike the Angel were bright enough in a lot of ways, but they made a bad mistake when they tangled with Mike the Angel. They'd done their preliminary work well enough. They had cased the job thoroughly, and they had built the equipment to take care of it. Their mistake was not in their planning; it was in not taking Mike the Angel into account. There is a section of New York's Manhattan Island, down on the lower West Side, that has been known, for over a century, as "Radio Row." All through this section... Long Stories - Post by : traffic-tart - Date : May 2012 - Author : Randall Garrett - Read : 3493