Sten (Sten #1)
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Born on Vulcan, a factory planet where human life has less value than the lowliest machine, Sten rebels against The Company following the mysterious death of his parents. He harasses the Company from the mazelike warren of tunnels beneath the planet. He could have been just another "delinq" -- but people like Sten never give up...
workers shall be levied not less than 35 credits nor more than 67 credits each pay cycle, except when performing what the Company deems to be extraordinary labor which increases the chances of accidental injury and/or death, in which case the levy shall be no less than 75 credits and no more than 125 credits each cycle, for which the Company agrees to provide appropriate medical care and/or death benefits not to exceed 750 credits for funeral arrangements and/or... He slammed his fist on the keys
tell you. I been listening to frizzly old bastards like you talk about how things is runnin' down, and how they're gettin' worse and all that since I first was a steward's pup." The barmaid--the spaceport dive's biggest and only attraction--slid mugs down the long polished aluminum bar. Raschid blew foam off the top of his mug and swallowed. "Talkin' to fools," he said, "is thirsty work. Even when they're high-credit driveship captains." The captain's mate flexed his shoulders--a move that had
unassimilated." "Explain." "Analysis--bringing these problems, and his unexpressed emotions into the open--would be suggested." "Suggested for what," Mahoney said. "We're not building a poet. All I want is a soldier. Will he fall apart in training?" "Impossible to predict with any certainty. Personal feeling--probably not. He's already been stressed far beyond our limits." "What kind of soldier will he be?" "Execrable." Mahoney looked surprised. "He has little emotional response to the
himself he didn't itch, and went back to listening to Gregor wheeze on the command circuit. Come on, he thought. Make up your mind. "First Pla--I mean one-one." Sten keyed his mike. "Go." "The ship is a Class-C patrolcraft. That means we go in through the drive tubes. I had my first sergeant take a reading. They're cool." Sten unclipped from the asteroid he and his platoon were "hiding" behind and drifted out a little. The old hulk hanging in blackness two kilometers away had been more or less
"Such as," Doc sniffed, a little hurt. "Like beer." The following shift break swarms of Migs streamed into the rec domes. Offered their cards and settled back for a cool one. Nothing. Not one drop. The machine merely swallowed the card, deducted credits, and then chuckled at the Mig to go away. "Clot I will," shouted one big Mig. He shoved his card in again. Still nothing. He slammed a meaty fist into the machine. "Gimme!" "I am Company property," the machine informed him. "Violation of my being