The Pirates of Ersatz by Murray Leinster

By Murray Leinster

Protagonist Bran Hoddan desires not anything extra for himself than to be freed from the taint of criminality that has lengthy besmirched his extended family. His plans for his destiny comprise a gradual activity and a satisfying marriage. notwithstanding, unexpected conditions have intervened, and all of sudden Hoddan unearths himself being pursued through a brutal staff of primitive humans. In desperation, he turns to his local trade—piracy—to loose himself.

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Little black flies swarmed around the fruit. Sam stretched out one arm and grabbed a banana, and the monster trembled. He pulled but the banana wouldn’t break loose. He glanced down and around at the townsfolk. Everyone was silent, watching him, waiting, he thought, for him to make a mistake and fall. Crazy Sam Briggs. “Okay,” he said. ” He jerked at the banana, once, twice, and it came away in his hand. She groaned. Where the banana had been attached, bright red blood gathered and fell in slow drops to the dusty street below.

He let them bunch up at the door behind him, then stepped aside and switched on the light to reveal a lavishly appointed dinner table. The walls of the dining room had been papered white with a faint red rose pattern. A picture Stuart had first mistaken for a big photograph mimicked a window on one wall. When he looked a little closer he saw it was a painting. Not a very good painting. He doubted even a very good painting would have chased away the overwhelming sense of being underground. It had something to do with the way light and sound behaved, something about the earthy smell of the air.

There’s still time for negotiation, Jessica,” I said. ” Jessica was doing what the nanopeople thought was Mom’s voice. I wasn’t fooled. Mom never whined. Not the old Mom anyway. At least we had the nanopeople’s attention these days. At first, Jessica had not bothered to even acknowledge our existence. Then we started pushing Mom into water over her head, and Jessica decided to talk to us. I tied the big rubber bands to Mom’s boots. “The word is bungee, Jessica,” Ada said. My sister was becoming one scary chick, I thought, what with her horse tattoo and western hat and the ever-present toothpick in the corner of her mouth.

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