The Repairmen of Cyclops
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The Corps Galactica, the Galaxy's police force, had pledged itself to a policy of non-interference with the backward Zarathustra Refugee Planets. Langenschmidt, the Corps chief on the planet Cyclops, was content with this ruling. After all, if the refugee planets could form their own civilizations from scratch, logically they would come up with cultures suited to their own needs.
However, when the case of Justin Kolb came to his attention, Langenschmidt was forced to rethink the problem. Kolb's accident with the wolfshark revealed to the Corps' medicos the leg-graft that had been performed on him. It was a perfect match--only its gene-pattern wasn't Cyclopean, and limb-grafting wasn't practiced on Cyclops. Where had the leg come from, who had been the unknown repairmen, and wasn't this something that might be violating galactic law?
First published 1965.
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“Well, then, spit it out,” Langenschmidt grunted. “It’s Justin Kolb,” said the disembodied voice. V ALURA QUIST was pleased with the way things were going. Not even the reflection which came back to her from the poly-view mirror at which she was preparing for the official banquet due at sunset could wholly dispel the mood of grim satisfaction the offworld delegation had generated in her. Of course, those from the wealthier worlds such as Earth had felt patronizing about the best Cyclops
floundered many times, its broad pads sliding on the greasy ground as it strove to get the laden cart past a parrticularly treacherous patch. On each occasion, however, Firdausi got down without complaint to break branches from the surrounding undergrowth and put them down in front of the wheels. The reins limp and slippery in her hands, Soraya found herself stirred to dim gratitude for the boy’s silence. Almost, she was minded to go back on her decision that if the Receivers of the Sick
the trip.” She gave a nod, but in reality scarcely heard what he had said. The sky was gray above; the trees around, draped with their curious hair-like foliage, were gray-green and still dripping from the last downpour before dawn. It was a setting which exactly matched her depressed mood. Suppose they don’t take her after all? Suppose they say I’ve delayed too long—that if I’d brought her to them a month sooner, they could have helped her, but now it’s useless? I shall never forgive myself.
turned and gestured curtly for the girl to be carried to the lock. He thought it as well not to tell Rimerley yet that there would have to be at leat three trips with the ‘copter to bring down all the men who had returned with him. Soraya was carried by two complaining bearers over to the ‘copter and placed in the cradle. Heimdall walked with her,’ and as soon as the job was done nodded to Rimerley. “Off you go, but don’t be too long over sending back the ‘copter, will you?” Rimerley, edgy,
resources to cure—and 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 others, and tended them until they recovered or died. “This system was on the verge of disappearance—so often had the Receivers died of the same illness as their patients, the idea seemed no longer practical. But Heimdall set himself and his men up as a new team of Receivers, worming their way into the natives’