‘You were a bio-tech first class, hydroponics division. I—I have a job for you.’ ‘Yes? What’s that?’ ‘Something happened. I don’t know what, but a machine which used to hum doesn’t do it any longer, and the vegetation in ’ponics looks a little sick. The level in the water-storage units is lowering—’ Ker-jon wondered how long the air would last.
I sat staring at them once more, but now I was seeing a different picture. I wasn’t seeing conveyor belts moving slowly along, covered with human tissues and organs on which earnest bio-techs performed their individual tasks. I wasn’t seeing a room filled with dozens of adult male bodies suspended in nutrient solution, each body connected to a conditioning machine which, day and night, clacked out whatever minimum information was necessary for the body to take the place of a man in the bloodiest part of the fighting perimeter. This time, I saw a barracks filled with heroes, many of them in duplicate and triplicate.
‘We’ll take good care of it,’ Sam said, helpfully. ‘What do you know about miniature rose trees?’ she demanded. Sam hemmed and shut up. ‘We are both biotechs,’ I said. ‘We’ll see that it gets water and sun.’
Achilles will seem to be dead but will actually be in a state of suspended animation. We’ll sneak his body at night from the funeral pyre and substitute a corpse. A bio-tech who owes me a favor will fix up the face of a dead Trojan or Greek to look like Achilles’. When this epic is done and we’re ready to leave Earth, you can run away.
You know how the sciences and technologies hang together. Your Island biotechs breed new species to concentrate particular metals out of sea water, so naturally they need to know a good deal about metallurgies too.
He had ordered his tailor to culture him a soma of the dominant mammalian type, using the specs from the old Highfeather report. In consequence he materialized in the New State Department parking lot on a May morning rush hour in the form of a bare baboon-bottomed youth eighteen feet tall with very peculiar arms. Luckily his biotech had included some optional adjustments.
Horace Bury watched the foot-high Moties playing behind the wire screen. ‘Do they bite?’ he asked. ‘They haven’t yet,’ Horvath answered. ‘Not even when the biotechs took blood samples.’
The university pays good commissions for new critters the biotechs can take apart, but I feel a little like those animals under the techs’ cutters sometimes, you know, like there’s no future in piece work.
Every few minutes its head would twitch to one side, as if it had just seen a glimpse of something, and sometimes its hand would strain to reach out, but it made no concentrated effort to remove the oxygen mask or to dislodge the needles pressing into its arms. Consequently, the Bio-tech spent the journey gathering valuable baseline data on the artifact’s physiological attributes.
His gaze flashed from the pale blue window to her excited face. ‘How many more years?’ ‘Less than five hundred. We could make it sooner, I suppose. Most biotechs don’t like to tamper too much with crafted worlds. They’d rather experiment somewhere else, just in case.’
Last modified 2021-11-19 17:38:50
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.