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He was deep in the intricacy of a deal so complicated that he was lost after the first two moves, when he opened his eyes to see Ali at the door panel. The Engineer-apprentice made an emphatic beckoning wave and Dane slipped off the ear buttons. "What is it?" His question lacked a cordial note. "I've got to have help." Ali was terse. "Kosti's blacked out!" "What!"

"Good enough," he commented as the result flashed on. "We can make it without using too much fuel " "Make what?" That was Ali up from the search of Kosti's quarters. "Nothing," he gave his report of what he had found there and then returned to the earlier question. "Make what?"

And by the time the two reached his side, he was beginning to come around, moaning, his hands going to his head. Together they got him on his feet and guided him to his bunk where he collapsed again, dead weight they had to push into place. Dane looked at Ali "Tau?" "Haven't had time to call him yet." Ali was jerking at the thigh straps which fastened Kosti's space boots. "I'll go."

"We find out what the plague really is," Dane said and meant every word of it. "How?" Ali inquired. "Through some of Craig's magic?" Dane was forced to answer with the truth. "I don't know yet but it's our only chance." Rip rubbed his eyes wearily. "Don't think I'm disagreeing but just where do we start? We've already combed Frank's quarters and Kosti's we cleaned out the hydro "