The Earthman

the weapons as well as Briggan's body. If Tchassen believed her, if he let himself trust her, it would be easier later on for her to dispose of him.

"Pack up the food, Tynia; I'm going to see if I can start the car."

When he went outside, the dawn was brightening the eastern sky. The snow and ice, melted by the thermal fire, made a slushy sheet of water in the clearing; it ate at the drifts, sluggishly washing the snow into the highway.

Tchassen waded through the water toward the sedan. His boots kept him dry, but the cold penetrated and made his feet numb. Hidden by the water were tiny, unmelted puddles of ice which made very treacherous footing. Twice the Captain slipped and nearly went down.

He was twenty feet from the car when he heard the door of the building bang open behind him. He glanced

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