Close to Critical by Hal Clement

By Hal Clement

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Raeker sat back and dozed for a few minutes; then he realized that he, too, was hungry, and took care of the situation. By this time he really wanted to sleep; but a call on the intraship system informed him that the communication equipment he had requested was ready for use. Sleepy or not, he had to try it out, so he went back to the robot control room. It was a good many hours before he left it again. Nick and Fagin had just rejoined their friends at the new camping spot, and Nick was bringing the others up to date on events.

I want you to take this message to Swift, and then, if he will let you, come back with his answer. I would like him and all his people to help hunt for the machine; and when it is found, Swift's people and Nick's can help in Acquisition; Inquisition; Instruction 109 fixing it. There won't need to be any more fighting. " Nick had given this talk exactly as it came, so far as his knowledge of Swift's language permitted. The scout was silent for half a minute or so at the end. He was still holding his spears firmly, but Raeker felt that his attitude with them was a trifle less aggressive.

Perhaps you'd better teD me and Dr. " Not for the first time, Raeker wondered what combination of heredity and upbringing had given Rich such an amazing child. He had known students ten years her senior whose minds would have been lagging far behind— she was thinking of important points sooner than Raeker himself, and he didn't have her worries. He brought his mind back to the present when she called his name. "Dr. Raeker, 'Mina couldn't see anything. " "Maybe," admitted Raeker. "Maybe they're just not interested in the bathyscaphe, for that matter.

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