After rescue, revenge was uppermost in Chet Barfield's mind; the hideous, bestial Agvars had to be taught a lesson they'd never forget. His rescuers seemed to disagree, however—until Chet learned his lesson too!
hen he heard human voices he could only yell incoherently once or twice, sob, and pass out.
* * * * *
Dimly through succeeding days Chet was aware of the ship's sickbay, of the enlisted attendants, the hovering doctor, the silent commander. Later he realized he'd been kept under opiates so his body could recover while his mind rested. At the time, he felt only the dimness.
It wore off abruptly. He was in a civilized cot, stretching luxuriously, aware of warmth and comfort and a cheerful voice that seemed familiar.
He opened his eyes. A fat young corpsman had been watching.
"How do you feel, sir?" the boy said. "Ready for coffee?"
"Sure," Chet answered. And grinned lazily as he sat up to sip the proffered cup. "You've taken good care of me."
"Used to be a barber in civilian life," the boy said smugly. And Chet found with an exploratory hand that he'd been shaven and shorn, bathed, bandaged where necessary--even, he saw, clad in a pair of fancy red broadcloth paj
Captured by natives after a shipwreck, Chet, the only survivor, is kept chained and is beaten bloody for three years before a rescue ship from Earth can arrive. Chet recommends wiping out the natives, his rescuers have other plans.
While I applaud the attitude of the crew, the method they use, and Chet's sudden conversion didn't seem realistic.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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