By Poul Anderson
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Additional resources for A Circus of Hells
Not now! Later, when I'm old, when I don't really care, all right; but not now! He remembered comrades in arms who didn't make it as far through time as he'd done. That was no consolation, but rallied him. They hadn't whined. And maybe something would turn up. The scene tilted. The engines growled on a deeper note. The ship was landing. The Merseian base stood on a bluff overlooking the river, thirty or so kilometers north of its mouth, well into fertile territory. The spaceport was minute, the facilities in proportion, as Flandry had surmised; nothing fancier than a few destroyers and lesser craft could work out of here.
Tryntaf reappeared, issued an order, and redisappeared. Flandry was escorted to the lock. Djana waited by her own guard. She seemed incredibly tiny and frail against the Merseian, a porcelain doll. "Nicky," she stammered, reaching toward him, "Nicky, please forgive me, please be good to me. " She covered her eyes and shrank back. He regretted his reaction. She'd been suckered—by her cupidity; nonetheless, suckered—and the feel of her hand in his would have eased his isolation. But pride would not let him soften.
Ordinarily I'd agree with you, dear. But I think I see what the arrangement is. The way the bishop behaved. " "Consider. Like the knight, I'm sure, the bishop attacks when the square he's on is invaded. I daresay the result of a move on this board depends on the outcome of the battle that follows it. Now a bishop can only proceed offensively along a diagonal. " Flandry stared toward his hidden destination. "I imagine the anthropoids are the pawns. I wonder why. " She huddled against him. "Has to be.
A Circus of Hells by Poul Anderson