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´╗┐Title: Inhibition
Author: Causey, James
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Inhibition" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



                              INHIBITION

                            BY JAMES CAUSEY

           _Regardless of scientific attainment, any culture
           is vulnerable to inhibition. And Saxon was a good
            agent; no culture nor individual would sway his
                         loyal appraisal...._

           [Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from
             Worlds of If Science Fiction, February 1955.
         Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that
         the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]


Planetfall.

Here the forest was green and cool. A soft, damp wind promised rain.
The colonists moved down the ramp, staring at the crew members piling
crates of supplies in the meadow beyond.

Frowns. Then whispers.

Saxon glanced up. His nostrils flared. "Hurry," he told the crewmen,
and came forward, beaming. He was tired. It showed in his feverish,
too-bright smile as he said, "Afraid Engineering's a little behind
schedule. They'll be here tomorrow morning to erect your city. Tonight
you'll have to rough it."

Reactions varied. The women murmured and moved closer to their men.
Some smiled. One man thoughtfully eyed the mounting pyramid of supplies.

"You're getting a choice world, Jarl," Saxon said, clapping him on
the shoulder. "Survey spent thirty years here, balancing the ecology,
wiping out the bugs and carnivores. Eden." Saxon tasted the word like
wine.

Jarl Madsen's face was stone. "Aren't they all named Eden?"

From the forest came a chittering bark, like anthropomorphic laughter.
Saxon shivered, remembering the thing that chittered, the three-inch
fangs and the talons. "Hardly," he lied. "That, incidentally, was a
Narl. Herbivore, very harmless."

Madsen walked past him, towards the supplies.

Saxon moved among the colonists, shaking hands, congratulating,
speaking of green fields and good crops and a virgin planet where every
man could carve an empire. These last moments were the worst, when you
said goodbye, knowing that thirty percent of them would be dead within
the week. He saw Madsen opening a supply case. _Damn him! Just three
more minutes!_

The last crew member dumped his load and hurried into the airlock.
Saxon started casually after him, too late. Madsen stood there, his
grin taut, nailed on.

"Primitive pre-fab shelters," he said thickly. "Axes and seeds! The
city was a lie. We're on our own, is that it? _Why--_"

Saxon's palm flashed and Madsen fell writhing. There were shouts, hands
clawing at him as he tore free, sprinting for the ship.

_Always running_, he thought bitterly. _I'm getting old._

       *       *       *       *       *

He walked through the silent corridors of the ship, a lonely figure
in the black uniform of the Inhibition Corps, and once he stared
through the porthole at Eden XXI, a mottled sphere receding into the
star-frosted night. His mouth twisted. Conceive a colony in fear, breed
it in terror. Watch it adapt, grow. If it grows too fast, hurt it. Hurt
it with disease, famine, dictatorship. If it keeps growing--destroy it.

The captain came down the corridor and stood at respectful attention
before the black uniform. "Stereo call, Commander. Prime Base."

Saxon slowly went to his cabin. The stereo panel was flashing steady
crimson to designate top priority and he restrained a savage impulse
to shut the thing off. He slumped in the control chair, and the tri-di
image of a man at a desk slowly coalesced. It was a granite-featured
old man with eyes like blue ice, and Saxon's head snapped sharply
erect. It was Primus Gant, Corps Director. At ninety parsecs Gant's
features were slightly hazed, but his voice was clear, sharp as a sword.

"Report, Commander."

"My extrapolation went through an hour ago. Also my resignation."

Nothing moved in Gant's face or his eyes. Saxon said stiffly,
"Planetfall uneventful. Area inimical. Initial shock conception,
probable God-betrayal mythology by fourth generation. Those things
in the forest should get thirty percent of them the first week.
Weaponless, they'll run. The two to one female ratio should make for an
agricultural matriarchy by the sixth generation. Recommend intermittent
check at that time." He took a slow angry breath. "Why didn't we give
them weapons?"

Gant's smile was acid. "Because we haven't yet tried an agricultural
matriarchy, Commander. Because the lower the initial survival factor,
the slower the culture development. Getting squeamish?"

Saxon said doggedly, "They didn't have a chance."

"Neither did twenty million people on Earth in the last atomic war."
The Director's voice was soft. "All colonists volunteer. Some have a
vision. Others have a latent power drive that stasis can't satisfy.
They're misfits regardless, potential threats to stasis. Remember your
last leave, Commander? I believe you met my son."

Saxon nodded curtly. He remembered the Director's son as a quiet,
soft-spoken youth with the yearning for far places in his eyes.

"I had hoped he would qualify for the Corps." Gant looked suddenly
old, tired. "Instead he's volunteering for Colonial Service. Did you
ever lose a son, Commander?"

They stared at each other across the humming emptiness and Saxon
finally whispered, "I'm sorry."

"Stasis is all we can afford," the Director said numbly. "Man can't
have Utopia yet. Because he's still--Man. Perhaps he'll never have it.
But by God he'll try! Resignation withdrawn?"

Saxon nodded. He could not speak.

"I'm glad. The ship's captain had orders to burn you down had you
refused." Gant's face was wooden. "Inhibition agents never quit, they
just die in harness. You'll take the lifeboat to Eden XI for sixth
generation check. Good hunting, Commander."

The image faded. Saxon sat for a long time, staring into the darkness.

       *       *       *       *       *

Eden XI was three parsecs distant, near Algol. For the next ten hours
Saxon paced the marvelously equipped lifeboat and absorbed data from
the robot recorder. He stared at the hard crystal ache of the stars and
thought of the Director's son. He thought about the shining cities of
Earth, and about stasis.

Stasis meant--control.

It meant control of a billion people, a rigid planetary economy. It
meant the Assassination branch of the Corps. Assassination (carefully
contrived to appear accidental) took care of those few malcontents
who were either too smart or too stupid to sign up for colonization.
It meant a gradual weeding out of the unsane, the power-mad, it meant
learning the true meaning of sanity and peace and racial brotherhood.

And it meant the stagnation of science, a thick film of dust gathering
on the textbooks of the military tactician, and warships rotting at
anchor. It meant the white spire of the Stasis Administration Center at
New Washington, and the words graven over the golden portals:

_Know thyself, Man. Or die!_

Was the dream worth it?

Or was Man doomed to die like a brawling ape, playing with lightning?

Saxon could not answer.

Meanwhile the colonies had to be inhibited. One interplanetary war
could smash the fragile structure so painstakingly built over the last
few hundred years. This was the turning point, the final cross-roads of
Man's destiny.

Saxon smiled bleakly.

Ultimately there would be a colony they could neither inhibit or
destroy. The adaptive ultimate. That colony would be Man no longer, but
Homo Superior.

But by then, it wouldn't matter.

       *       *       *       *       *

The lifeboat came in on the night side of Eden XI, and hung above the
blue mountains like a basking shark. Saxon checked his coordinates.
This had been the original landing site, almost two hundred years ago.
He switched the infra-view on maximum, and began to cruise in widening
spirals. These sixth generation hops were usually routine. If nomadic,
a few political shifts could help warp the culture into a set pattern.
A simple matter to play the visiting deity, pick one warped psychotic,
and invest him with power. A dictatorship was by far the best way of
inhibiting a young culture. Agricultural city-states were almost as
easy. Designate a particular crop as sacred, kill the rotation program,
impoverish the land, introduce serfdom.

By dawn, Saxon found what he was looking for. A row of cleared fields
and a farmhouse. He reconnoitered a hundred miles farther and frowned.
There was no clump of dwellings, no sign of a village trading community.

He brought the ship down in a forest three miles away from the
farmhouse and camouflaged it to look like a great mossy boulder. He
spent the entire morning testing the atmosphere and the soil with a
savage patience. In the early years of the Corps, virus mutations had
taken a fearful toll of intermittent spotters.

Finally he discarded his uniform and selected a pair of homespuns from
the ship's wardrobe locker. Under the homespuns reposed his utility
kit, a miniature arsenal.

Late that afternoon he emerged from the forest and stood at the edge
of the cleared fields, a weatherbeaten itinerant, obviously willing to
chop wood for a meal. Abruptly his jaw muscle twitched.

The scene was pastoral, perfect.

The man, plowing the south forty. The little girl, playing in the
shadow of the sleepy farmhouse.

But no beast pulled that plow. A giant of a man with power and
intelligence stamped on his bronze features pushed the plow by hand, in
a die-straight furrow.

The little girl was blonde and elfin. She wore sandals, her tunic was
brief and plain. She was playing follow-the-leader--

With a robot.

The robot was tall. The sun struck sparks from its steel carapace as it
lumbered after the girl. Saxon stood frozen as she came flying towards
him in a burst of tossing blond hair and laughter, as she saw him and
came to a dead halt.

"Hello," Saxon said. He tried to smile.

"Hello." Her inflection was slurred. After six generations, naturally.
Her blue eyes sparkled. "Foot-sore, stranger?"

The words had the cadence of a ritual greeting. Saxon stared at the
robot and said carefully, "Yes."

"He's only a primer model," she said, following his gaze. "Next year
when I'm twelve Father promised to install secondary circuits. My
name's Veena. What's yours?"

Saxon introduced himself, as the giant at the plow came forward. His
white smile was a benediction, his voice a lambent organ. "Welcome,
rover. Haven't seen one of you in months. I'm Lang. Agricultural
hobbyist. You'll stay?"

His tone was almost pleading. Saxon nodded inarticulately, followed
them towards the farmhouse. His hands were shaking.

The interior of the house was--dimensionless.

For a moment Saxon thought he was still outside. A silver brook tinkled
through the mossy carpet that was the floor. The south wall was a
golden vista of ripe wheat rippling in the warm breeze that ruffled his
hair. Birds twittered in the sun-flecked foliage overhead.

"Nice house," Saxon said numbly.

Lang's smile was different. "A bit pretentious, I'm afraid. Grandfather
built it right after the landing. We've been too lazy to do much
remodeling. A remarkable man, Grandfather."

That explained it, Saxon thought in relief. One titan in an infant
colony, warping it into a Utopian mold, passing on the heritage of his
genius. How long, he wondered coldly, before they built starships and
returned to demolish the Earth which had exiled them?

"It must be wonderful to be a rover," Veena said wistfully. "Lang, can
I go with him when he leaves?"

"You haven't completed Basic Ecology. Mentor's waiting for your
afternoon session."

Veena pouted and went outside to her robot. Lang grinned. "The
precocious brat's beginning to ask him questions he can't answer. Soon
I'll have to install a few more circuits."

Saxon shivered. _Regardless of scientific attainment, any culture is
vulnerable to inhibition._

So said his agent's handbook.

Later he met Veena's mother, Merl, a handsome woman with calm gray
eyes who served them dinner by firelight. It was a good dinner.
These colonists seemed like good people. A shame they qualified for
inhibition.

Gently, Saxon began to probe.

In only six generations the colonists has scattered throughout the
entire hemisphere. Although the matrix of their culture seemed to be
the individual family unit, they lived according to whim. Some lived
in small communal groups. Some lived alone. Some, by choice, were
wanderers, rovers. They had science. Their philosophy seemed nebulous,
based on a benevolent ecology, brotherhood with all living things.

Saxon frowned.

Six generations ago, the ecology on this world hardly had been
benevolent for man. This area of the continent had been a steaming
marsh, swarming with hungry saurians. Now it was all meadow and forest.

Saxon said thoughtfully, "Have you ever felt the need for organization?
For a leader?"

He leaned back and waited for the seed to sprout. Two years ago on Eden
VIII, near Rigel, he had said the same thing to a sixth-generation
shaman, and it took scarcely a month for the shaman to start an
intra-tribal war.

But now the seed fell on sterile ground. Lang said, "I don't
understand. Any problem which cannot be solved at family level is
referred to the annual council."

"A leader." Saxon was patient. "One strong man to represent everybody.
To settle all problems as he sees fit?"

"Remember, Father?" Veena prodded. "Those arboreal cannibals
Grandfather used to mention? They had a nomadic tribal culture based on
brute strength."

Lang nodded somberly. "Good analogy. The most favorable extrapolation
indicated a racial life expectancy of only ten thousand years. Their
emotional stability index was nil, they would eventually have destroyed
themselves. The first generation decided it would be more merciful to
exterminate them. An unwise decision, I think."

He launched into a spirited ethnological discussion with Veena, and
Saxon sat, numbly.

They had no emotional insecurity to feed, no power-hunger. No herd
instinct to pervert, nothing to utilize as destruction potential.

No cultural weakness.

The room they gave him was small and comfortable. For a time he lay on
the sleeping hammock, considering the situation. He was beginning to
like them. That in itself, was dangerous.

The house was very still.

He got quietly out of the hammock and crept towards the door. He had to
get back to the lifeboat, to feed facts into the monitor.

One thing disturbed him.

According to his agent's handbook, family-group anarchies didn't need
inhibition.

He was halfway across the plowed field when Mentor's iron voice said,
"Good evening."

Moonfire glimmered on metal. The robot stood impassively before him.
Saxon said slowly, "I was just going for a walk."

"You are our guest: I shall walk with you."

"I prefer to walk alone."

"Guests prefer company. The house of Lang must observe the basic
amenities."

Was there a hint of sardonicism in Mentor's voice?

They walked along the furrows, man and robot. Saxon felt beneath his
shirt for the utility kit. He kept his voice level.

"Am I a prisoner?"

"You are a guest."

"Did Veena tell you I might try to escape?"

A pause, while relays clicked silently.

"That is classified information."

Saxon's fingers were steady as they touched his tiny blaster.
Benevolent anarchy indeed! He said carefully, "Do the colonists resent
their exile?"

Another pause. Mentor's voice was a flat drone. "The concept is
meaningless, the question invalid."

_Like hell it is_, thought Saxon, and fired.

A cold blue wash of energy illuminated the robot. For a moment Saxon
was blinded. When vision returned he saw Mentor standing immobile,
unscathed.

"Please go back to bed," the robot said.

Saxon went back to bed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Next morning Veena brought him breakfast. She seemed sad, withdrawn.
"Lang and Merl went to visit Aunt Tarsi. She lives near the Equator.
They won't be back till evening."

"How" Saxon had trouble breathing. "How did they go?"

"By transmitter, of course." She indicated a large shimmering platform
in one corner. "Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot rovers hate the mention of any
type of gadgetry." Her eyes grew impossibly earnest. "But we try to
achieve some kind of balance, really. Once when I suggested that Father
let Mentor help him plow the fields, he got furious."

Saxon restrained wild laughter. First the robot, invulnerable to atomic
energy, now a matter transmitter.

Yet they plowed their own fields.

"Veena," he said.

She looked up at him.

"Why did you tell Mentor to keep me here?"

She bowed her bright head. Her blue eyes were brimming.

"Why, Veena?"

"Because I like you," she sniffled. "I wanted you to s-stay." Abruptly
she fled from the room.

He stood bleakly looking after her. After a time he went outside and
struck across the field towards the forest.

This time the robot did not stop him.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Do not allow the emotional charm of any culture, nor any individual of
that culture, to sway your inhibition appraisal._

In the narrow confines of the lifeboat he repeated the quotation
grimly. Good inhibition agents are inflexible. He was a good agent.

For almost an hour he fed data into the monitor tapes. Then he touched
a stud and closed his eyes, waiting for judgment.

"Agricultural family-group societies are normally stagnant," the
monitor droned. "Such cultures, regardless of technological level, do
not warrent inhibition of any type. Reference: twelfth generation check
on Eden V."

The room spun. Saxon whispered, "But they have cybernetics, matter
transmitters."

"Regardless of technological level." The monitor was adamant.

This was madness. Saxon wiped his forehead and said, "Assuming
geographical isolation no barrier to united group action in the event
of emergency."

"United action is incompatible with family-group."

"Assume and advise!"

Relays chattered. Abruptly the entire panel flashed crimson. The
monitor spoke one word.

"_Annihilation._"

Saxon referred to his Inhibition handbook. He had never annihilated a
culture before.

One hour later he went into the forest. Birds sang overhead. The sun
dappled him in light and shadow. He stalked a small furry quadruped
that squealed at him from a log and brought it down with his sonic
pistol.

Back in the lifeboat he watched the animal regain consciousness in an
air-tight tank, and very slowly he pulled a lever. A green vapor rolled
into the tank. The quadruped screamed. The green vapor fed.

It was the penultimate in sporedom, yet it was more than a spore.
It had virus characteristics, and its propagation rate was almost
mathematically impossible. There was no known defense, and once used,
the entire planet was forever untouchable. To Saxon's knowledge it had
been utilized only once on Eden I.

At dusk, he took the lifeboat up fifty miles. He released the spores
in a widening spiral, and finally jettisoned the tank. He went into an
orbit at ten thousand miles, and waited.

It would take approximately a week.

It was a long week. Saxon slept little. He paced the cabin. He looked
at the stars and thought about a blue-eyed waif with tears in her
voice, begging him to stay.

After a week the lifeboat came down at the edge of a grassy plain.
Saxon took a sample of the contaminated atmosphere to determine
propagation rate.

The atmosphere was pure.

Some freak of expansion. One uncontaminated spot in a hemisphere of
death.

He selected another location. Then another. That evening he close the
coordinates of his original landing site and tested the air again.

Finally he went outside the airlock. He breathed deeply, and the air
was fresh and sweet, it smelled of forest and cool streams and evening
dew. In the blue dusk birds twittered. A small marsupial very much like
a squirrel scampered to the safety of a tree and scolded him.

Saxon began walking.

At the edge of the forest he saw the familiar plowed field. The
farmhouse was a friendly beacon in the twilight.

"Hello," Veena said. She stood at the edge of the forest. She was
smiling. "Welcome home, rover."

For the next few days Saxon was the perfect guest. He argued
philosophical abstractions with the family by firelight; by day he
hiked in the woods with Veena and listened to Mentor give her lessons.
He asked questions.

"Veena, do you know what a microorganism is?"

"Benevolent or malignant?"

"Malignant. A plague."

She pursed her lips. "Organic or cultural?"

"Organic of course."

"Bacteria." Veena shrugged. "Quite a few of the first generation
died immediately after the landing. Until they adapted. Until they
analyzed the basic metabolism of the planet's dominant life-forms, and
constructed a neutralizer."

"A neutralizer?"

"A protective shell of ionized particles," she said patiently, "keyed
to the individual body-chemistry."

"Classified information," Mentor droned.

Saxon licked his lips. "You mentioned cultural microorganisms?"

"Much more deadly. I call them that, but Lang says I'm being
semantically unsound. War, for example. Racial inferiority. To date we
haven't found a cure." She broke off, and her eyes were shining wet.

"But you don't have wars," Saxon said.

"No."

"Then?"

"We have a--ghetto," the girl said slowly. "I can't tell you about it.
Perhaps soon--"

Abruptly she changed the subject.

Slowly, Saxon's defenses began to crumble.

To all intents he was now a member of Lang's household, Veena's adopted
big brother.

Big brother--or pet?

It did not really matter.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the fourth day he went back to the lifeboat. He remembered his
graduation day, the crash of the Corps anthem, and the pledge. _I do
faithfully swear to uphold the ideals of Man, to use this vested power
for the absolute good of Earth. I will not shrink from any cup of duty,
regardless of how bitter. I will guard stasis with my life, and the
lives of innocent people if need be, people whose only crime may be
that they are potential threats to stasis--_

He tinkered with the ship's reactor for an hour. Then he ran.

Behind him the lifeboat dissolved in a white blossom of flame.

Farewell the cold stars and the ache and the loneliness. Farewell the
destruction of newborn colonies to secure the rotting stagnancy of
Earth.

He would have a great many bad nights, but he was used to bad nights.
He thought of Veena and his stride quickened. She would be a beautiful
woman.

They were waiting for him back at the farmhouse, Lang, Veena and Merl.
They were staring at the dark pyre of smoke in the forest. Saxon took a
deep breath and squared his shoulders. "I've got a confession to make--"

They weren't listening. Lang said quietly, "You were right, Veena. He
may qualify."

"Come." Merl took her husband's arm. "Let's call the Council."

They went inside. Saxon looked at Veena. He moistened his lips. "You
knew," he said.

She nodded. There was a queer adult maturity about her as she said,
"Wait. They're calling an emergency Council meeting to decide if you're
fit."

"Fit," Saxon said. Coldly, it seeped in. To survive? To be a playmate,
a slave? "It's been a game," he said, grasping her shoulders. "You've
known all along."

"They're taking the transmitter to the Landing Site now," she said.
"Would you like to watch?"

Watch judgment of the outcasts on one of those who had marooned them?
Why not?

Lang and Merl were no longer in the house. Veena touched a silver stud
in one corner, and one side of the room dissolved from a vista of
golden wheat to a grassy amphitheatre. There were people assembled in
the clearing. Lang and Merl stood on a mossy dais, making a speech.

He saw the ship.

It was a giant silver ovoid, fretted with strange vanes, pockmarked by
the red cancer of rust. Towering forest patriarchs guarded that ship
like a woodland shrine. A ship that had never been born on Earth. An
alien ship.

Understanding came, and a quiet horror.

He lurched away from the screen, away from Veena. He was outside now,
and running. He was a good Inhibition agent, he had been conditioned
to the shock of alien concepts for half his lifetime, but the ground
reeled beneath him as he ran and he could feel the hot trickle of blood
where he had bitten through his lip to keep from screaming.

Aliens.

From _outside_.

Homo Superior, treating his ape-brother with an hospitable contempt.
Playing their inscrutable game.

The lifeboat came down almost in front of him.

It came down with a whining snarl and settled into the plowed field.
The airlock opened. Primus Gant stepped out. His blue eyes were very
cold and he was smiling.

"Report, Commander."

Years of conditioned reflex brought him erect, made him whisper,
"Mission unsuccessful." He swayed, almost fell. Gant held him.

"Easy, lad. We got the blowup a few minutes ago. It took us awhile to
home in on the distress transmitter in your utility kit." He chuckled
at Saxon's blank stare. "Whenever an agent's ship is destroyed his
utility belt automatically functions as a distress signal."

Saxon shook his head painfully. "You've been waiting?"

"We started ten days ago when your monitor gave out with the
annihilation alarm." He eyed Saxon keenly. "Just how bad is it?"

Saxon told him. Gant's face turned a dirty white.

"Aliens," he said thickly. "They probably murdered the original colony.
You've come through nicely, lad. It may mean promotion." He turned into
the ship. "Come on."

"Wait." Saxon's voice was a dry whisper. "You're not going to--"

"Demolition," Gant said. "I've got a task force up there that can crack
a planet. Let's go, Commander."

_I will not shrink from any cup of duty--_

"Please," Saxon said huskily. "I don't believe they're inimical to Man.
They're altruists."

"So?"

"They're benevolent," Saxon pleaded. "Both races can live together!"

"Don't be a fool," Gant grunted, and turned into the airlock.

Saxon leapt.

One palm came down hard at the base of the Director's skull.

And Gant twisted. He palmed the younger man with two deft blows, throat
and plexus. Saxon slumped, retching. Gant stood above him, his smile
strained.

"Amateur," he panted. "I was instructing hand tactics before you
were born." He took out his blaster. "They've infected you," he said
compassionately. "I'm sorry, lad. You'll get a posthumous decoration."

The blaster came up, steadied. Then Gant stood very still, a
white-haired statue.

Mentor came around the ship and helped Saxon to his feet.

"Destroying guests is forbidden," the robot clicked. "The concept is
irrational."

       *       *       *       *       *

Later, in the shadows of the farmhouse that was not a farmhouse, Saxon
watched the scout disappear into the sky. He turned towards Veena.
"You're letting him go?"

"Mentor--treated him," she said dreamily. "He'll report that you
destroyed the colony, died in the process, and this planet is unfit
for further colonization. Incidentally, the council voted in the
affirmative. Otherwise you'd be with Gant."

Aliens, playing a game with their ape-brother. Recognizing him at first
glance, speaking his language, making him feel wanted, at home.

_Why?_

He was afraid to ask the question.

"We're on a vacation," Veena said. "We've only been here for one
generation. We were due to return almost thirty years ago, but we found
your colony."

"Did you--"

"Isolation," she murmured. "The ghetto. They're sick," she said.
"Infected with the culture plague. We couldn't leave them and we
couldn't help them." Her gaze was very steady. "Until you came."

It came to him. Man, clutching at the knees of Gods, envying, striving
futilely, finally hating.

Only Man can help Man.

"It's not fair," Saxon breathed. He took Veena by the shoulders,
made her look at him. "I'm happy here. You and Lang--Merl--I'm just
beginning to learn! I'd hoped that in a few years--"

"We are not human," Veena said gently. "And our life span is four
hundred of your years."

For the first time, he noticed the faint malformation of her ears, the
subtle differences in facial bone structure. He glanced past her, saw
Lang and Merl waiting in the doorway.

"It will mean months of study," she said. "You have so much to unlearn,
to understand. They may reject you, sacrifice you. That will not
matter. What does matter is your impact on their culture, what it will
mean a thousand generations hence."

_Diseased apes, with a touch of Godhood, suffering from an infection
that might be forever incurable. Why should he be the sacrifice? Who
was he, to help them?_

Looking at Veena, he knew the answer.





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this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
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