A Stone In Heaven by Poul Anderson

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By Poul Anderson

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A calculator happened to be lying on the console shelf. She dashed it to the floor. It didn't break as she wanted, but it skittered. " she yelled. " The single person in the room with her was Ivan Polevoy, electronician, who had had some tinkering to do on a different piece of equipment. He had seen Abrams rapt in her rapport with the native, but not what was happening, for side panels effectively blocked his view of the video screen. The woman maintained that her relationship was sufficient invasion of privacy--though she admitted "privacy" was a notion hard to apply between unlike species.

He had loathed calisthenics more in every successive year of his sixty-one. But they had given him a quickly responsive body in his youth, and it was still trim and tough beyond anything due to gero treatments. At last he could shower. When he emerged, Chives proffered a Turkish towel and coffee royal. "Good morning, sir," he greeted. Flandry took the cup. "That phrase is a contradiction in terms," he said. " Chives began to rub his master dry. He wasn't as deft as erstwhile. He didn't notice that he nearly caused the coffee to spill.

Squash it, fellow. You've got health, money, power, friends, women, interesting work that you can even claim is of some importance if you want to. Your breakfast is being prepared by none less than Chives--He glanced at his watch, whistled, and made haste to the dining room. The Shalmuan, met him at the entrance. "Excuse me, sir," he said, and reached up to adjust the sunburst on its ribbon before he seated his master and went to bring the food. The weather bureau had decreed a fine spring day.

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