The Robert Silverberg Science Fiction MEGAPACK®
sealed off the cabin. Opening the airlock, I carried the unconscious Venusian out the hatch and gave him a good push, imparting enough momentum to send him out on an orbit of his own. The compensating reaction pushed me back into the airlock. I closed the hatch. The Venusian must have died instantly, without ever knowing what was happening to him.
    Then I had a look-see to determine just how much damage the stowaway had been able to do before I woke up and caught him.
    It was plenty.
    All our communication equipment was gone, but permanently. The radio was a gutted ruin. The computer was smashed. Two auxiliary fuel tanks had been jettisoned. We were hopelessly off course in asteroid country, and the odds on reaching Ganymede looked mighty slim. By the time I finished making course corrections, we’d be down to our reserve fuel supply. Ganymede was about 350 million miles ahead of us. I didn’t see how we were going to travel more than a tenth that distance before air and food troubles set in, and we weren’t carrying enough fuel now for a safe landing even if we lived to reach Ganymede.
    It was time to wake Miss Vanderweghe and tell her the news, I figured.
    * * * *
    She was lying curled up tight in her acceleration cradle, asleep, with a childlike, trusting expression on her face. I watched her for perhaps five minutes before I woke her. She sat up immediately.
    “What—oh. Is everything all right? Did we make a good blastoff?”
    “Fine blastoff,” I said quietly. “But everything isn’t all right.” I told her about the stowaway and how thoroughly he had wrecked us.
    “Oh—that horrible little man from Venus! I knew he had followed me to Mars—that’s why I wanted to leave for Ganymede so soon. He made all sorts of absurd threats, as if the things I had bought were holy relics—”
    “They are, in a way. If you worship Macintyre and his fellow rebels, then the stuff you carried away is equivalent to the True Cross, I suppose.”
    “I’m so sorry I got you into this, Sam.”
    I shrugged. “It’s my own fault all the way. Your Venusian friend approached me at the hotel this afternoon and warned me off, but I didn’t listen to him. I had my chance to pull out.”
    “Where’s the stowaway now? Unconscious?”
    I shook my head, jerking my thumb toward the single port in her cabin. “He’s out there. Without a suit. Stowaways aren’t entitled to charity under the space laws.”
    “Oh,” she said quietly, turning pale. “I—see. You—ejected him.”
    I nodded. Then, to get off what promised to be an unpleasant topic, I said, “We’re in real trouble. We’re off course and we don’t have enough fuel for making corrections—not without jettisoning everything on board, ourselves included.”
    “I don’t mind if the cargo goes. I mean, I’d hate to lose it, but if you have to dump it—”
    “Uh-uh. The ship itself is the bulk of our mass. The problem isn’t the cargo. If there were only some way of jettisoning the ship —”
    My mouth sagged open. No, I thought. It wouldn’t ever work. It’s too fantastic to consider.
    “I have an idea,” I said. “We will jettison the ship. And we’ll get to Ganymede.”
    Luckily our saboteur friend hadn’t bothered to rip up my charts. I spent half an hour feverishly thumbing through the volume devoted to asteroid orbits, while Erna hovered over my shoulder, not daring to ask questions but probably wondering just what in blazes I was figuring out.
    Pretty soon I had a list of a dozen likely asteroids. I narrowed it down to five, then to three, then to one. I missed the convenience of my computer, but regulations require a pilot to be able to get along without one in a pinch, and I got along.
    I computed a course toward the asteroid known as (719)-Albert. Luck was riding with us. (719)-Albert was on the outward swing of his orbit. On the basis of some extremely rough computations I worked out an orbit for our crippled ship that would match Albert’s

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