One minute, down and out actor Lorenzo Smythe was -- as usual -- in a bar, drinking away his troubles as he watched his career go down the tubes. Then a space pilot bought him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knew, he was shanghaied to Mars.
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You took long enough , " he snapped " Indeed ? " I let it go at that and looked
around me . It was an expensive suite , as I had expected , but it was littered and
there were at least a dozen used glasses and as many coffee cups scattered
I took the little book from her , glanced through the pages . “ Chief , ” Dak said
urgently , " we are short on minutes . " " Compose yourself , ” I said without
looking up . “ The entire Martian nation can wait , if necessary , on a young lady .
Minus thirty - five seconds . Better start . " I nodded and started up the ramp . It
must have been within a second or two of the exact , appointed time when I
reached the top , for the mighty gates rolled back as I came to them . I took a deep