By Murray Leinster
"Nobody ever observed the message-torp. It wasn't to be anticipated. It got here in on a path that prolonged backward to someplace close to the Rift—where there was Huks—and for a really, very good distance it had traveled as merely message-torps do commute. It hopped part a light-year in overdrive, and got here again to normality lengthy adequate for its photocells to examine the star-filled universe all approximately. Then it hopped one other part light-year, and so forth. For a protracted, very long time it traveled during this jerky fashion."
A compelling brief tale by way of Murray Leinster.
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Extra info for A Matter of Importance
Kosygin drains his wineglass, decides to ignore the implied criticism. “We don’t have the resources to waste. ” He grins wolfishly. ” The colonel nods, then does a double take, punch-drunk. ” “Well, it isn’t a fucking horse,” says Kosygin. He slides a big glossy photograph across his blotter toward the colonel. ” The colonel blinks in confusion as he tries to make sense of the thing at the center of the photograph. The premier watches his face, secretly amused: confusion is everybody’s first reaction to the thing in the photograph.
COMMITTEE PROCESS The cherry trees are in bloom in Washington DC, and Gregor perspires in the summer heat. He has grown used to the relative cool of London, and this unaccustomed change of climate has disoriented him. Jet lag is a thing of the past—a small mercy—but there are still adjustments to make. Because the disk is flat, the daylight source—polar flares from an accretion disk inside the axial hole, the scientists call it, which signifies nothing to most people—grows and shrinks the same wherever you stand.
He glances up at her. ” Maddy shrugs. “I was just a kid when it happened. But I saw the moon, some nights. ” He nods. “Not like some of the kids these days. ” she asks. “Whether they’re all as massive as this one. What they could be made of. ” He shrugs. “Don’t ask me, I’m just a bug-hunter. ” He chuckles. ” The comrade colonel laughs uneasily. He’s forty-three and still slim and boyish-looking, but carries a quiet melancholy around with him like his own personal storm cloud. “I was very busy all the time,” he says with a self-deprecating little shrug.
A Matter of Importance by Murray Leinster