The importance of a matter is almost entirely a matter of your attitude. And whether you call something
to go off--and sometimes set them--and stuff dirt into cold rocket-nozzles and sometimes kill people and go incontinently hysterical because they didn't mean to. Delinks do most of the damaging things that have no sense to them. There is no cop who has not wanted to kill some grinning, half-scared, half-defiant delink who hasn't yet realized that he's destroyed half a million credits' worth of property or crippled somebody for life--for no reason at all.
Sergeant Madden listened to the denunciation of all the delink tribe. Then he yawned again.
"I know!" he said. "I don't like 'em either. But we got 'em. We always will have 'em. Like old age."
Then he made computations with a stubby pencil and asked reflectively:
"When're you coming out of overdrive?"
Patrolman Willis told him. Sergeant Madden nodded.
"I'll take another nap," he observed. "We'll be there a good twenty-two hours before the Aldeb."
The little squad ship went on at an improbable multiple
For the most part, this is a rather boring story. Very wordy writing for how little actually happens. There's lots of antiquated slang, and the characters are melodramatic. However, if you skim over enough of the fluff, there's almost enough of a story left for a little entertainment.
A space ship mysteriously disappears, and some space cops are sent to investigate. They magically deduce what happened to the ship, then hatch a plan to recover the ship from some of Earth's old enemies.
You won't miss much by skipping this story, but you may not hate yourself for finishing it.
As humans settled their corner of the galaxy, armies and navies were replaced by policemen. And policemen don't want to win battles, they want to solve cases and restore order. So when a spaceliner makes an emergency landing on an uninhabited world then impossibly disappears, a veteran police sergeant and his patrolman sidekick come up against an old warlike culture called the Huks who hadn't been heard from for decades.
A clever and convoluted plot, with a great character in Sergeant Madden.