This story was first published by the Oxford University Speculative Fiction Group in 1972, in the group’s magazine SFinx. I seem to remember that Mike himself typeset the story for the magazine, and he also supplied his own illustrations. The closing sentences are almost prophetic…

 “Mr. Musgrove to Transit, please!”

The loudspeaker squawked for the fourth time, but the little man dozing in the waiting room did not stir. The clerk behind the desk sighed, and hurried downstairs. He picked up the magazine that had fallen on the floor and shook the little man – very gently, because he knew how important he was. Musgrove stirred, and then woke up abruptly.

“Time to go, Mr. Musgrove,” said the desk clerk.

“Oh, dear me, already? I must have dozed off – now, where’s my luggage gone?”

“Already aboard, sir.”

“Oh – oh, fine, fine – all of it? That big black crate?”

“Yes, sir, that as well. Now if you could come along…”

Musgrove sighed and got up, slowly and unwillingly. He never liked going through the Transit, and this time he liked the idea even less, because he knew what was waiting for him at the other end. The idea of being kicked through the interstices of space-time by brute force was undignified, as well as uncomfortable – he would be sick, he knew it…

“We’ll all be rooting for you, Mr. Musgrove, sir,” said the clerk as they walked to the capsule.

“Thank you, thank you, my boy – but, eh, I’m not quite sure rooting is quite the idea. It is a court of law, after all, not a game of cricket.” “Aw, come on sir, we all know just how much those Galactics care about law!”

“You’d be surprised, my boy, I assure you. Oh, yes – in fact that’s half the trouble, I’m afraid: they care too much.”

With that he was through the barrier and heading for the big capsule on the conveyor belt. The clerk suddenly realised he was still holding the old man’s magazine. He was about to run after him when he suddenly saw what was in it.

“Why, the dirty old goat!” the clerk chuckled – but not too loudly. He went back to his desk and pored over it for the rest of the day.

Musgrove sat down as near the back of the capsule as he could get, and strapped himself in. He was the only passenger now, of course – not even a nice young hostess with big – yes, it was very unpleasant. He would be sick, he knew it – perhaps it was just as well there was no one else there. The door shut silently as the belt slid into motion. Through the transparent front of the capsule he could see the air in the tunnel shimmering with energy waiting to be released.

He shuddered, and pushed himself as far back in his seat as he could. The air suddenly rippled, and a great pool of ink seemed to spread in front of him. The capsule slid smoothly into it – and Musgrove began to gibber. The capsule lurched and seemed to spin crazily. Coloured light flashed all round him, the air grew so hot he couldn’t breathe, and his stomach seemed to be pushed up his throat by the sickening spin. He was about to give up and die gracefully when he suddenly felt as if he was being turned inside out. The capsule came out into light again, in a tunnel exactly like the one he had just left. It slid out into open air that was not the air of Earth. The door opened. Edward Abraham Musgrove, President of the Faculty of Advocates and Professor of International Law at the University of Edinburgh, foremost expert in interplanetary law in the Solar System, staggered uncertainly out onto the gently sloping ramp of the alien spaceport and was briefly and painfully sick.

What he saw when he was at last able to look up didn’t make him feel any better. A seven-foot lizard was leaning over him in a most solicitous manner. It reached down a claw.

“Professor Musgrove? I’m Marcalinin dzu Var, United Neutral Worlds Police Corporation. Your bodyguard and general factotum while you’re here.”

The accent was pure Oxbridge, if a little too sibilant.

“Delighted to meet you, Mr… er… ”

“Call me Mark. Well, let’s get back aboard, shall we? We’ve a journey ahead.”

Musgrove groaned. Mark, seeing his distress, tried to encourage him.

“We’re on your side, you know, Prof. Nobody likes the Kelse much, even their allies are just along for the ride. Trouble is, most of our worlds are within range of the Kelse ships, if they wanted to invade. Yours isn’t, and you can’t invade through a Transit machine, so you’re OK.”

“They tried, you know, Mark – just on the off chance. We switched off our end, of course. Half their army came back in fragments, the rest just didn’t come back at all. Troops from a satellite nation, of course.”

“Of course!” grunted Mark. “They’d never risk their own. But Prof… ” He seemed at a loss for words: his tongue flickered in and out in embarassment.


“Well, ! don’t want to offend you, but…” He suddenly began to chew the end of his tail, much as a man might chew his fingernail, thereby disconcerting Musgrove mightily. “Well, suppose the Court – Lord forbid – does rule against you. Why does Earth have to pay any attention to it anyway? Nobody can make you do anything – you’re out of range of police ships even if my bosses did want to help the Kelse that much.”

Musgrove sighed, which he felt he was doing a lot lately.

“Mark, Earth may have got the secret of hyperdrive by one glorious accident, but we’re still one little frontier world – we’re even alone in our own system. The Court could put on an embargo, cut off all the advanced materials and knowledge we need to make any real use of the drive – and then where would we be? Sitting on a heap of worthless knowledge, waiting for the Kelse to develop the drive again. Only this time they wouldn’t have another accident. And then they’d put in a takeover bid – for everywhere. And we’d be first.”

If Mark had been human he might well have paled. Instead he turned an amazing succession of colours, each less pleasant than the last.

Musgrove shut his eyes. God knows, he thought, there were enough human type races in the Galaxy. Why couldn’t the powers that be have given him a beautiful girl – or reasonable facsimile thereof – as a hostess? Wasn’t it bad enough being Earth’s only representative in the Court, without being landed with a multi-coloured lizard who was forever chewing his godforsaken tail? He tried to think of something more pleasant. The capsule began to move. He should have insisted on taking along a stenographer at least. There was that nice little Christine in the Faculty Office, she really had beautiful – the capsule entered the transit field and Musgrove ceased to care. He was sick again. The journey went on, short hops here and there. Musgrove was sick most of the time. It brought home forcibly to him what a difference hyperdrive would make. He remembered what Mark had said at one point, still trying to cheer him up:

“As long as you can swing the decision, Prof, that’s all. Even on a technicality. Nobody except the Kelse will object, and all our governments are just longing to have someone put them in their place. But of course we can’t ignore the law…”

The law! That high and mighty law that had held the crazy federation of planets together for centuries, picking up the best of each system it came across and welding it into one more part of the weird and complex structure – but one that had usually worked so well it had gained an almost religious respect. It had acquired some of Earth’s law lately – and in that lay Musgrove’s all too tenuous hope.

Wallowing in his couch; trying to choke down the toast and beef tea Mark kept bringing him, he could only admire the Kelse, who travelled all over their Empire this way. Worse, they set out in sublight ships on journeys of conquest they would never see the end of – it would be their children or grandchildren who would add another world to the glory of the Kelsen realm. They would do this by subterfuge, murder, raiding, or war, or all of these at once, but they would do it – and having conquered they would bleed the world dry for their own benefit and more conquest. It was all they lived for. Musgrove suddenly felt even more small and wretched. Here he was, one fat old man, a good lawyer and a failed lecher, and only he stood between the Kelse and the knowledge that could give them the Galaxy.

He was sick for what seemed like the thousandth time. It probably was.

He was still sick when the capsule emerged into the transit bay of the planetoid that was their destination. It had been made into an enormous Courthouse for the highest court in the known Galaxy, housing everybody even remotely connected with the cases, and a few more besides, for as long as the case should last. As he was half carried through a transparent corridor that led along the outside of the planetoid, Musgrove noticed outcroppings like smooth fungi dotted all over the irregular surface. They were gun turrets. They served as a mild warning to those races inclined towards summary justice.

Musgrove arrived in a very sorry state, but by the time the session opened he had almost recovered. The Courtroom looked more like a large theatre, with the judge’s Bench where the stage should be, and a large window, impressively open to space, behind it. By the same analogy he was in the orchestra pit. “Playing the fiddle,” he thought bitterly, “in a one-act farce entitled ‘How to prevent the takeover of the universe without really trying’.” Thank God the courtroom procedure and organization was about the same all over the Galaxy, and he knew the Interlingua well, that was no problem. What was a problem was that there could be no appeal from this decision, no retrial, not even an adjournment. This was final. He could bring as much evidence as he liked, right up until the decision was formally declared, but after that… he had a clear vision of a throat being cut. It looked like his.

He sat in his best wig and gown, waiting for the judges to arrive, and sneaking covert glances at the Prosecutor for Kelse. His opponent was reasonably humanoid if you ignored his height, which was enormous, and his eyes, which were yellow and rather catlike. He was bald and blue, but then so were a lot of people. Musgrove knew his reputation, thought of some of the case reports he had read, and sighed. Sighing was becoming a reflex, like blinking.

The Clerk of the Court entered, and Musgrove cheered up. The Clerk was five feet tall, entirely human, and thoroughly and delectably feminine; she wore her own fur, some jewellery, and nothing else. It was going to be hard keeping his mind on the case – he looked round. The Prosecutor’s narrow eyes had narrowed further, and he had hunched forward over the table with a revolting leer on his face.

“My word!” thought Musgrove, “the fellow is quite human after all. Maybe there’s hope for the Kelsen yet.” Then he remembered what he had heard about Kelsen eating habits, and realised what sort of hunger it was that had produced that leer.

And these people wanted to rule the Universe! He could see it now – Air Hostess and chips, Christine on toast – he rather liked that one, but pushed it regretfully out of his mind. Here were the judges.

There were to be eleven of them, of all races, colours, and sexes, which covered a multitude of sins. Ten took their places on the Bench, but the President’s chair remained empty. Musgrove craned his neck to see who was coming in the door at the back. It was a rather unpleasant looking thing, like a toad if it was like anything Earthly at all, clad in the black robe of the President. It sauntered up to the President’s chair and flopped down on the seat. Mark leant over from behind and whispered “Bad luck, Prof. That’s Sanayanni Sul Lev. He’s Chief Magistrate of Sul – that’s a Kelsen satellite. I’ve heard he’s a kind of local gauleiter for the Kelse: they must have pulled strings to get him the Presidency this session.”

“Yes, that’s all I bloody needed,” Musgrove muttered. Then: “Mark?”

“Yes, Prof?”

“We may need some very convincing evidence. You know that big black crate in my luggage? Well, could you bring it here before the end of session?”

“Yes, Prof, sure, but… it’s nothing illegal, is it? You know I’m a UNW copper, I can’t allow anything like…”

“No, no, not exactly illegal, just experimental gear. I may need to prove a point, that’s all.”

“Well, all right.”

They became aware that the President and the Prosecutor were glaring at them. Mark shouldered his way down the aisle and vanished. The President made an eldritch noise, adjusted an unobtrusive re-breather unit on his shoulder or equivalent thereof, and drawled “Well, if the Counsel for Earth is quite finished, I hereby declare this session of the Interplanetary Permanent Court open. Clerk will now read statement of complaint in case Government of Kelse against Government of Earth.”

The little dark-furred clerk got up and Musgrove’s glasses steamed over. By the time they cleared she was well into the complaint.

“…the Government Research Station on the planetoid 143576b orbiting Kelse’s sun, having been for many years, then, engaged in research to discover a faster than light drive system by means of hyperspace, finally did so. In the course of an experiment the way to enter hyperspace was at last discovered. This, however, projected the entire planetoid, complete with equipment, buildings, machinery and crew into hyperspace. The effect ceased soon after and the planetoid emerged into normal space once again. Due to conditions prevailing in hyperspace, however, its position in normal space had altered, and it reappeared in orbit near the world Mars, uninhabited but adjacent to Earth in that planet’s system. It was immediately boarded by warships of Earth’s Solar Fleet, on exercise in the area. Instead of facilitating the return of planetoid, equipment, buildings, machinery and crew, to their rightful owners, the Kelse Government, as should have been done, the Government of Earth did illegally sequester, annexe and subjugate the said planetoid, equipment, buildings, machinery, and crew to their own uses. The Kelse Government demands that these, its property, be returned with such damages as the Court shall decide. That is the claim of the Kelse Government.”

The Clerk sat down, much to Musgrove’s regret. The President waved what he had instead of hands in a vaguely benign gesture.

“I do not think there’s anything you want to add to that, eh, Prosecutor?”

That individual smirked. “Oh, no Sire, the facts speak for themselves. And since I understand they have been conceded by the Defence…”

“Quite so, quite so,” said the President. “Well, has the Defence anything to say in mitigation before I pass sentence?”

Musgrove’s eyes widened.

“If you please, M’lud – I mean Sire – l understood there was to be a trial of this action. You appear to have decided it already.”

“But if you’ve conceded the facts, then there can’t be any defence, can there? I really must warn you, Defence Counsel, there are penalties for wasting this Court’s valuable time!”

“If Sire would allow me to continue… Earth contends it needs no defence. All its actions in this matter are legally justifiable under interplanetary law, and I can prove this – if this court is enough of a court to allow me to do so.”

“Your remarks have been noted and may be dealt with later. You will get your chance to defend” – he emphasised the word unpleasantly – “but you will do it after the Prosecution has given its case. All of it.”

“All” was not much, but it sounded conclusive. Witnesses from nearby ships and planetoids, and those few crew members who had not been interned, gave evidence that could not be faulted. Anyway, Musgrove didn’t try. At one point a faint but perceptible snore appeared in the heavy air of the Courtroom. Only when the last of a series of expert (and neutral) witnesses was called to describe conditions in hyperspace did he even make any pretence of showing interest, and at the end of Prosecutor’s examination, as if remembering he hadn’t asked a thing so far, he asked a few questions in a very desultory fashion, without even opening his eyes, let alone getting up from his desk.

“I understand,” he half yawned, “you’re some kind of expert chappie?”

“Yes, Sir,” snapped the witness, “as I have just explained at great length to the Prosecutor. On hyperspace.”

“Ah, yes, yes. Now, er, as I understand it – which I’m bloody sure I don’t – when you go into this hyperspace the normal laws of nature don’t operate.”

“That is right,” squawked the angry little – thing – in the witness cubicle. “Matter and energy as we know them don’t exist, they’re translated into something – well, there – there isn’t any way of expressing it. Nothing in our world relates to it, not even the spacewarp we use in Transit – and hyperspace needs no huge energy to travel, it just is. Much more efficient. We’ve only managed to simulate it in the laboratory – the Kelse seem to have the real thing at last – or they had, eh-heh-heh!”

“No further questions, Sire,” grunted Musgrove as the witness froze under the President’s glare. The case for the Prosecution was over.

Musgrove tugged his collar. Here was the awkward bit. If they accepted his argument, well and good – but if not, as seemed only too likely with that character from Aristophanes as President, well, there would have to be a further demonstration, that was all. He knew only too well what was involved in that, and mentally he shuddered. His face, however, remained as fat, pompous, and bored as ever as he got up to begin his address.

“Sire President, Honoured Judges, Ladies, Intermediates, and Gentlemen,” he began, “this is not a long defence. I bring no witnesses at all. I accept those of the Prosecution, and I have already conceded the facts. I merely refer you to the Interplanetary Territorial Agreement signed by Earth and the Kelse among others three years ago. In this, certain aspects of the law governing acquisition of territory in Earth’s international law were adopted as the interplanetary standard. I refer you to Section 200, sub-section 1, which contains the rule that any new territory that has not formerly belonged to any planet belongs to ‘the first one to establish sovereign control over it’ -”

“Yes,” the President interrupted, “but what has that got to do with it? That planetoid belonged to the Kelse before your wretched little navy pirated it!”

“I am sure that remark will be noted also, Sire, as an example of this Court’s impartiality. However, I will proceed to show how relevant it is. The Government of Earth contends, Sire, that in taking possession of the planetoid in question it was exercising its sovereign rights over new territory that had appeared out of hyperspace – in effect, nowhere. You see, Sire and Honourable Judges, as the witness so kindly supplied by the Prosecution informed us, matter and energy, the stuff of this universe, ourselves included, become something else entirely under conditions of hyperspace, something totally alien. In effect, therefore, when an object enters hyperspace, it is destroyed – in our terms, for it no longer has any matter or energy. It becomes something else entirely. When it leaves hyperspace, this unnatural object is constituted into matter and energy once more. It is therefore created anew – reborn, in fact. We contend that the planetoid which Earth assumed control of is newly formed, that it is no more than a terra nullius, a territory belonging to nobody, and never having done so. Therefore, Sire President and Honoured Judges – finders keepers, as we used to say on Earth. And that, Sire, concludes the case for the Defence.”

He sat down in a flurry of gown, The Courtroom erupted, judges, witnesses, reporters, officials and spectators all arguing with each other, banging on tables, screaming in each others’ faces. Musgrove, trying hard to look self-possessed, despite the perspiration pouring off his brow, suddenly noticed the little Clerk sitting there open-mouthed, staring at him with what looked suspiciously like admiration. That only made the perspiration worse. When fist, tooth, claw, and – thing – fights began to break out all over the Courtroom, the officials stopped arguing and began to quieten things down. When order was at last restored, the President emerged cautiously from beneath the Bench, where he had apparently been consulting with a bottle of euphoric, to judge from his breath.

“Court will come to order,” he croaked. “The Honoured Judges will now vote on the – er – arguments of the Defence Counsel.”

Where the hell was Mark, Musgrove wondered. He could only bring new evidence before the final vote was cast. That would be the President’s.

“Three guesses as to how that will go,” Musgrove muttered to himself. “The only bloody thing I need to complete this is a stalemate.”

He got it: five judges on his side, and five against. The President had the casting vote.

There was nothing left to do except – Musgrove stood up, trying hard not to gibber.

“Sire President -”

“What do you want now?”

“Before you cast your vote…”

“This had better be good -”

Out of the corner of his eye Musgrove saw the Courtroom door open and an exhausted-looking Mark totter in with…

“There is one more piece of evidence -”

“Too late!”

…an enormous black box, glossy and featureless, perched on his shoulder. One of the other judges, who had, in fact, voted against him, took Musgrove’s side, and another row broke out, and was only stilled after the President had been assaulted by an over-enthusiastic official. He had also to allow Musgrove to produce the evidence, and that didn’t improve his temper at all.

Mark hauled the box onto the dais in front of the Bench, and leant over to whisper to Musgrove, “Sorry, Prof; I had to lug it here myself: I think some of these ruddy officials are under orders not to be helpful!”

“Nothing would surprise me after meeting the President, Mark: if he leant any further over to one side he’d come up the other – probably do him the world of good. Anyway, stand by for the evidence, and have a gun ready, in case anyone gets too emotional…”

Mark went through another amazing sequence of colours, but more faintly this time. He patted a bulge on his side; Musgrove had noticed it, but hadn’t been sure whether it was actually part of Mark or not. Still, he felt comforted. The still-fluorescing Mark sat down, and Musgrove stepped forward.

“Sire President, Honoured Judges, Ladies, Int -”

“Get on with it!” sighed several of the Honoured Judges.

“Ah – very well, then.”

He snapped a small catch on one side of the box, and the top rose gently to show a smooth metallic surface, broken only by a small panel of switches and sliders. Some of the sliders were held in position with tape.

“This, Sire, is an experimental unit I brought with me from Earth, where it has only recently been developed. It will, I believe, leave the Court in no doubt that matter and energy cease to exist in hyperspace.”

Before anyone could move, he snapped down the largest switch on the panel. the Courtroom lights flickered and died. There was a brief feeling of movement, then –

Musgrove could not see: there was nothing to see. He had a vague impression, nothing to do with sight or any other sense, of rushing down a vast tunnel towards a tiny heap of stars bunched together at the far end, and then thought itself faded into a gentle blur. Musgrove forgot all his troubles, his past; his name, and at last even his identity became a thing without meaning. Peace flooded him and washed around him. Without body or mind he drifted in a calm sea, rocked gently here and there by waves that were no waves, wind that did not blow. Only very vaguely was he conscious of a host of others around him and who or what they were mattered nothing.

Then there was an abrupt flash of harsh light, a roaring babble of sound, and the Courtroom was back around him, with everybody staring in bewilderment about them. Musgrove felt marvellous, younger, strong, refreshed. It was a new Musgrove in every sense who stood up to address the Court. He looked out at the great window behind the Bench.

Was it just wishful thinking, or –

He was not sure, but –

Yes. Far out among the but stars was a flash of something silvery, small, getting larger and clearer by the second. And another, and another yet –

The Court had at last got its collective voice back. Another riot was beginning to build up. Musgrove leapt – yes, leapt – onto his desk. The Prosecutor snarled, and made a savage grab at him, only to find Mark’s pistol between his eyes. There was barely enough room.

“Sire President, Honoured Judges, Ladies, Inter -”

“What is the meaning of this – this charade, this stunt, this – ?” The President degenerated into his own language, which appeared to be spoken across a razor blade.

“As I was about to explain, you have now undergone the hyperdrive effect, and I am sure you will agree that I have proved my point. Matter and energy cease to exist in hyperspace, do they not, Sire?”

The President gibbered.

“Why, damn you, do you -do you know what I’m going to do? First, I’m going to condemn your little mudball of a world to damages it’ll work itself to death trying to pay, and then I’m going to commit you to gaol for disrespect of Court so fast you’ll – Slgbrdl!”

He choked on his own anger, and started to hammer at his re-breather. Dodging the clouds of chlorine it gave out, Musgrove took advantage of the momentary halt in the tirade.

“I must point out,” he oiled, “one more thing before this Court passes judgment too precipitately. In entering hyperspace and leaving it, this Court has changed its position in ordinary space. We are now -” he looked down at the dials on the panel – “in the approximate orbit of Neptune, in Earth’s system. If you look out of the window -”

No more was necessary, because at that moment the leading dreadnought sailed across the window. It looked as if it could eat the planetoid for breakfast and not need to pick its teeth. What looked like twenty more sidled up menacingly behind, with a promise of still more in the distance. Well armed as the Court planetoid was, it could not stand up to this.

“Force!” croaked the President. “You daren’t use force, your world would be embargoed on the spot!”

“We would never dream of using force on a neutral body, Sire,” smiled Musgrove. “However, should you rule that the planetoid that emerged from hyperspace is the same one that entered it, then by the same decision, so is this Court. It then becomes, in effect and in law, an armed enemy vessel that has entered Earth’s territory under power. And that – Earth’s navy will open fire shortly, I think…”

“You can’t! You’d have to be at war!” screamed the President above the rising panic. “This planetoid belongs to the Neutral Worlds, and you aren’t at war with them!”

“If you, Sire, rule against us, we will declare war on the spot – what have we to lose? But if you should decide to rule the other way -”

“It’s a trick!” howled the President. “The Court would never – oh.”

“Precisely, Sire. The Court is here. Oh, I’d agree that when the UNW eventually get another Court they might award heavy damages – to your next of kin. But until then, we don’t know it’s illegal, do we? For all we know it might not be. And what’s done is done…”

The Courtroom had fallen silent. Musgrove cleared his throat.

“If you rule the other way, of course, then there’s no trouble, is there? I’m sure we can find a way to get you all home. In one of our new hyperspace ships, perhaps. We might even put the Courtroom back where it was – we want as little hard feeling as possible. We try to keep everything within the law…”

The President looked wildly around for help. His fellow judges seemed strangely unsympathetic. The Prosecutor seemed hypnotised by the endless circling ballet of the dreadnoughts outside. Twice the President opened his mouth in the beginnings of a scream of defiance, but thought better of it. Then he subsided into himself, seeming to deflate and shrink. “This Court,” he began in a trembling voice, “this court, by the casting vote of the President, so rules -”

And that was that. Musgrove stretched out in a chair in the anteroom. He had seldom felt so relaxed. Now there was a way to travel! And Earth had it, to use wisely or not, as it chose. But one thing at least was sure: the Kelse would never rule the Universe now. That was surely enough of an achievement to be going on with. It was all over bar the shouting. He slouched comfortably back in his chair – then sat up abruptly. The shouting: most of it would be at him. Even in Earth’s dizziest moments of gratitude there would be plenty of carping little voices, accusing him of being a con-man, a trickster, a shyster, a besmircher of professional ethics. Well, he was all of these now, and more, and it would not matter to those jealous little voices that he had saved a whole world, and perhaps won Earth the galaxy for a playground. His legal career was probably over as of now. He found to his surprise that he didn’t mind too much; he had already been paid enough to keep him comfortably for the rest of his life, and almost any case would seem an anticlimax after this one.

And as for teaching…

He broke off his musing. The little Clerk was there, sitting by herself. Was she by any chance looking in his direction? The impact of a scaled claw on his shoulder made him start.

“Prof? Time to go aboard, we’re on the flagship.”

“Ah – er, yes, Mark, you go along, I’m just coming…”

Mark slid away. Musgrove bounced boyishly to his feet and smiled over at the Clerk as she, too, prepared to leave. Yes, she was going on the flagship. No,she had never seen Earth, and, oh yes, she’d love to.

“I know a little place -” breathed Musgrove. Actually he didn’t, but he could soon find one. She took his arm. Out of the Court’s anteroom, away from his old life, went Edward Abraham Musgrove, failed lawyer and -well, who knows?

Certainly he didn’t. He was sure he was going to have fun finding out, though.

© Michael Scott Rohan, 1972. This story may not be reproduced elsewhere without written permission from the author’s estate.