The Pirates of Ersatz
"I know," growled Hoddan, "but there are some people so stupid you have to show them everything. I didn't realize that there are people so stupid you can't show them anything."
"You ... showed something you didn't intend," said Derec miserably. "Bron, I ... I have to tell you. When they went to charge the carbon bins at the power station, they ... they found a dead man, Bron!"
Hoddan sat up.
"Your machine--killed him. He was outside the building at the foot of a tree. Your receptor killed him through a stone wall! It broke his bones and killed him.... Bron--" Derec wrung his hands. "At some stage of power-drain your receptor makes deathrays!"
Hoddan had had a good many shocks today. When Derec arrived, he'd been incredulously comparing the treatment he'd received and the panic about him, with the charges made against him in court. They didn't add up. Th