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.There could be little doubt that her father had controlled much of Pandora through his food operations, and now that he was dead it would surely pass to Scudi.Bushka half-closed his eyes and studied the young couple beside him.Gallow must've thought them a couple of scared kids.Bushka had learned the danger of assumptions while he'd been boat-bound with Twisp.Scudi obviously had a first-love crush on the kid.but that would pass.It always did.Her father's minions were still alive.They would put a stop to it once they found out.Once they took a good look at the kid's mutated eyes.Twisp stood up at the tiller and peered ahead, shading his eyes against the rising ball of sun."Foil," he said."It's heading for Vashon.""I told you!" Bushka shouted."Looked like an orange stripe along the cabin top," Twisp said."Official.""They're looking for us," Bushka said.His teeth began to chatter."Not changing course," Twisp said."They're in a real hurry." He reached down and flipped the switch on his emergency-band radio receiver.The sound of the Vashon announcer came on in midsentence: ".who there was no immediate further threat to Vashon's substructure.We are hanging bottom on a kelp margin of enormous dimensions.There is exposed land and surf immediately to the east of us.Fishermen are advised to approach us through the clear water from the southwest.We repeat: All downcenter areas are being evacuated because of grounding.Vashon itself is in no immediate danger as long as the calm weather holds.Repairs are proceeding and Merman help has been assured.Hourly bulletins will be provided and you are advised to keep tuned to the emergency band."Scudi shook her head and whispered, "Current Control wasn't supposed to let something like that happen.""Sabotage," Bushka said."It's Gallow's doing.I know it.""Exposed land," Twisp muttered.The big change was happening.He could feel it.Down the course of history, people have been the principal cause of human deaths.It is possible to alter that course here on Pandora.-- Kerro Panille, the HistoriesWard Keel's head throbbed in time to his heartbeat.He opened his eyes a crack but shut them quickly against the painful stab of white light.A demanding interior whine filled his ears, blotting out the world around him.He tried to lift his head but failed.His neck support had been removed.He tried to remember if he had removed it.Nothing came to him.He knew there should be things to remember but his throbbing head took most of his attention.Again, he tried to lift his head and gained only a few millimeters.The back of his head thumped onto a hard, flat surface.Nausea gripped his throat.Keel gulped quick lungfuls of air to keep from vomiting.The air tasted thick and humid and did not help much.Where in the name of Ship am I?Bits of memories flickered into his mind.Ale.And someone.that Shadow Panille.He remembered now.There had been an argument between Ale and someone in Merman Mercantile -- the late Ryan Wang's operation.She had ended it by removing Keel to.to.He could not remember.But they had left Ale's complex.That much he recalled.Thick air all around him now.down-under air.Slowly, he tried opening his left eye.A dark shape loomed over him, haloed by a pair of bright ceiling lights."He's coming around."A smooth, unhurried voice, conversational.The piercing whine in Keel's ears began to wind down.He tried opening both eyes wider.Slowly, a face came into focus above him: crisscrossed scars on the cheeks and brow, a twisted mouth.The face turned away like a receding nightmare and Keel saw streaks of green smeared up to the neck below those awful scars."Don't fuss over him, Nakano.He'll keep."That was a voice edged in ice.The scarred face regarded Keel once more -- two deeply set eyes with something far back in there that refused to emerge.Nakano? Keel felt that the name and the scarred face should ignite an important memory.Blank."He's no good to us dead," Nakano said."And you hit him pretty hard with that stuff.Hand me some water.""Get it yourself.I don't tote for Mutes."Nakano removed himself from Keel's view, returning in a moment to bend closer with a beaker and a straw.A hand striped with green paint put the straw between Keel's lips."Drink it," Nakano said."I think it'll help."Hit him pretty hard?Keel remembered someone shouting.Kareen Ale screaming at.at."It's just water," Nakano said.He moved the straw against Keel's lips.Keel sucked in cold water and felt the soothing splash of it into his cramping stomach.He told himself that he should reach for the beaker but his hands refused to cooperate.Straps!Keel felt them over his chest and arms.He was being restrained, then.Why? He took another deep drink of the water and pushed the straw from his mouth with his tongue.Nakano removed the beaker and released the restraints.Keel flexed his fingers and tried to say "thanks," but the word was no more than a dry whistle in his throat.Nakano placed something on Keel's chest and Keel felt the familiar outlines of his neck appliance."Took it off when you puked and damn near choked to death," Nakano said."Couldn't figure how to get it back on you."Keel felt weak but his fingers knew this familiar thing.He fumbled over the slips and catches, putting the support into place around his neck.Two raw spots pained him where the braces met his shoulders [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]