"Right," Max said. "The purple thistle. Spores! The atmosphere is clogged with them. Greta, my sweet, we're infected."
"I feel fine," I said.
All day long we ran tests. Negative tests. We seem to be disgustingly healthy. "Symbiosis," Max said finally. "Live and let live. Apparently we're hosts."
Only one thing disturbs me.
Most symbiotes do something for their host. Something to enhance the host's survival potential.
We played chess this evening. I won. Max is furious. He's such a poor sport.
* * * * *
Max talked with Senator Farragut this morning. He gave Epsilon a clean bill of health and the Senator thanked God. "The first starship will leave tonight," the Senator said. "Right on schedule, with ten thousand colonists aboard. You're world heroes!"
Max and I played chess the rest of the day. Max won consistently. He utilizes a fianchetto that is utterly impregnable.