酷兔英语



STAR SURGEON

by

ALAN E. NOURSE

[Transcriber's note: Extensive research did not uncover any evidence

that the copyright on this publication was renewed.]

DAVID McKAY COMPANY, INC.

NEW YORK

COPYRIGHT (C) 1959, 1960 BY ALAN E. NOURSE

_All rights reserved_

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARD NO. 60-7199

Manufactured in the United States of America

VAN REES PRESS . NEW YORK

_Typography by Charles M. Todd_

Sixth Printing, April 1973

Part of this book was published in _Amazing Science Fiction Stories_

CONTENTS

1 The Intruder 3

2 Hospital Seattle 15

3 The Inquisition 25

4 The Galactic Pill Peddlers 37

5 Crisis on Morua VIII 54

6 Tiger Makes a Promise 66

7 Alarums and Excursions 78

8 Plague! 98

9 The Incredible People 107

10 The Boomerang Clue 121

11 Dal Breaks a Promise 136

12 The Showdown 151

13 The Trial 165

14 Star Surgeon 175

STAR SURGEON

CHAPTER 1

THE INTRUDER

The shuttle plane from the port of Philadelphia to Hospital Seattle had

already gone when Dal Timgar arrived at the loading platform, even

though he had taken great pains to be at least thirty minutes early for

the boarding.

"You'll just have to wait for the next one," the clerk at the

dispatcher's desk told him unsympathetically. "There's nothing else you

can do."

"But I _can't_ wait," Dal said. "I have to be in Hospital Seattle by

morning." He pulled out the flightschedule and held it under the

clerk's nose. "Look there! The shuttle wasn't supposed to leave for

another forty-five minutes!"

The clerk blinked at the schedule, and shrugged. "The seats were full,

so it left," he said. "Graduation time, you know. Everybody has to be

somewhere else, right away. The next shuttle goes in three hours."

"But I had a reservation on this one," Dal insisted.

"Don't be silly," the clerk said sharply. "Only graduates can get

reservations this time of year--" He broke off to stare at Dal Timgar,

a puzzled frown on his face. "Let me see that reservation."

Dal fumbled in his pants pocket for the yellow reservation slip. He was

wishing now that he'd kept his mouth shut. He was acutely conscious of

the clerk's suspicious stare, and suddenly he felt extremely awkward.

The Earth-cut trousers had never really fit Dal very well; his legs were

too long and spindly, and his hips too narrow to hold the pants up

properly. The tailor in the Philadelphia shop had tried three times to

make a jacket fit across Dal's narrow shoulders, and finally had given

up in despair. Now, as he handed the reservation slip across the

counter, Dal saw the clerk staring at the fine gray fur that coated the

back of his hand and arm. "Here it is," he said angrily. "See for

yourself."

The clerk looked at the slip and handed it back indifferently. "It's a

valid reservation, all right, but there won't be another shuttle to

Hospital Seattle for three hours," he said, "unless you have a priority

card, of course."

"No, I'm afraid I don't," Dal said. It was a ridiculous suggestion, and

the clerk knew it. Only physicians in the Black Service of Pathology and

a few Four-star Surgeons had the power to commandeer public aircraft

whenever they wished. "Can I get on the next shuttle?"

"You can try," the clerk said, "but you'd better be ready when they

start loading. You can wait up on the ramp if you want to."

Dal turned and started across the main concourse of the great airport.

He felt a stir of motion at his side, and looked down at the small pink

fuzz-ball sitting in the crook of his arm. "Looks like we're out of

luck, pal," he said gloomily. "If we don't get on the next plane, we'll

miss the hearing altogether. Not that it's going to do us much good to

be there anyway."

The little pink fuzz-ball on his arm opened a pair of black shoe-button

eyes and blinked up at him, and Dal absently stroked the tiny creature

with a finger. The fuzz-ball quivered happily and clung closer to Dal's

side as he started up the long ramp to the observation platform.

Automatic doors swung open as he reached the top, and Dal shivered in

the damp night air. He could feel the gray fur that coated his back and

neck rising to protect him from the coldness and dampness that his body

was never intended by nature to endure.

Below him the bright lights of the landing fields and terminal buildings

of the port of Philadelphia spread out in panorama, and he thought with

a sudden pang of the great space-port in his native city, so very

different from this one and so unthinkably far away. The field below was

teeming with activity, alive with men and vehicles. Moments before, one

of Earth's great hospital ships had landed, returning from a cruise deep

into the heart of the galaxy, bringing in the gravely ill from a dozen

star systems for care in one of Earth's hospitals. Dal watched as the

long line of stretchers poured from the ship's hold with white-clad

orderlies in nervous attendance. Some of the stretchers were encased in

special atmosphere tanks; a siren wailed across the field as an

emergency truck raced up with fresh gas bottles for a chlorine-breather

from the Betelgeuse system, and a derrick crew spent fifteen minutes

lifting down the special liquidammonia tank housing a native of

Aldebaran's massive sixteenth planet.

All about the field were physicians supervising the process of

disembarcation, resplendent in the colors that signified their medical

specialties. At the foot of the landing crane a Three-star Internist in

the green cape of the Medical Service--obviously the commander of the

ship--was talking with the welcoming dignitaries of Hospital Earth.

Half a dozen doctors in the Blue Service of Diagnosis were checking new

lab supplies ready to be loaded aboard. Three young Star Surgeons swung

by just below Dal with their bright scarlet capes fluttering in the

breeze, headed for customs and their first Earthside liberty in months.

Dal watched them go by, and felt the sick, bitter feeling in the pit of

his stomach that he had felt so often in recent months.

He had dreamed, once, of wearing the scarlet cape of the Red Service of

Surgery too, with the silver star of the Star Surgeon on his collar.

That had been a long time ago, over eight Earth years ago; the dream had

faded slowly, but now the last vestige of hope was almost gone. He

thought of the long years of intensive training he had just completed in

the medical school of Hospital Philadelphia, the long nights of studying

for exams, the long days spent in the laboratories and clinics in order

to become a physician of Hospital Earth, and a wave of bitterness swept

through his mind.

_A dream_, he thought hopelessly, _a foolish idea and nothing more. They

knew before I started that they would never let me finish. They had no

intention of doing so, it just amused them to watch me beat my head on a

stone wall for these eight years._ But then he shook his head and felt a

little ashamed of the thought. It wasn't quite true, and he knew it. He

had known that it was a gamble from the very first. Black Doctor

Arnquist had warned him the day he received his notice of admission to

the medical school. "I can promise you nothing," the old man had said,

"except a slender chance. There are those who will fight to the very end

to prevent you from succeeding, and when it's all over, you may not win.

But if you are willing to take that risk, at least you have a chance."

Dal had accepted the risk with his eyes wide open. He had done the best

he could do, and now he had lost. True, he had not received the final,

irrevocable word that he had been expelled from the medical service of

Hospital Earth, but he was certain now that it was waiting for him when

he arrived at Hospital Seattle the following morning.

The loading ramp was beginning to fill up, and Dal saw half a dozen of

his classmates from the medical school burst through the door from the

station below, shifting their day packs from their shoulders and

chattering among themselves. Several of them saw him, standing by

himself against the guard rail. One or two nodded coolly and turned

away; the others just ignored him. Nobody greeted him, nor even smiled.

Dal turned away and stared down once again at the busy activity on the

field below.

"Why so gloomy, friend?" a voice behind him said. "You look as though

the ship left without you."

Dal looked up at the tall, dark-haired young man, towering at his side,

and smiled ruefully. "Hello, Tiger! As a matter of fact, it _did_ leave.

I'm waiting for the next one."

"Where to?" Frank Martin frowned down at Dal. Known as "Tiger" to

everyone but the professors, the young man's nickname fit him well. He

was big, even for an Earthman, and his massive shoulders and stubborn

jaw only served to emphasize his bigness. Like the other recent

graduates on the platform, he was wearing the colored cuff and collar of

the probationary physician, in the bright green of the Green Service of

Medicine. He reached out a huge hand and gently rubbed the pink

fuzz-ball sitting on Dal's arm. "What's the trouble, Dal? Even Fuzzy

looks worried. Where's your cuff and collar?"

"I didn't get any cuff and collar," Dal said.

"Didn't you get an assignment?" Tiger stared at him. "Or are you just

taking a leave first?"

Dal shook his head. "A permanent leave, I guess," he said bitterly.

"There's not going to be any assignment for me. Let's face it, Tiger.

I'm washed out."

"Oh, now look here--"

"I mean it. I've been booted, and that's all there is to it."

"But you've been in the top ten in the class right through!" Tiger

protested. "You know you passed your finals. What is this, anyway?"

Dal reached into his jacket and handed Tiger a blue paper envelope. "I

should have expected it from the first. They sent me this instead of my

cuff and collar."

Tiger opened the envelope. "From Doctor Tanner," he grunted. "The Black

Plague himself. But what is it?"

"Read it," Dal said.

"'You are hereby directed to appear before the medical training council

in the council chambers in Hospital Seattle at 10:00 A.M., Friday, June

24, 2375, in order that your application for assignment to a General

Practice Patrol ship may be reviewed. Insignia will not be worn. Signed,

Hugo Tanner, Physician, Black Service of Pathology.'" Tiger blinked at

the notice and handed it back to Dal. "I don't get it," he said finally.

"You applied, you're as qualified as any of us--"

"Except in one way," Dal said, "and that's the way that counts. They

don't want me, Tiger. They have never wanted me. They only let me go

through school because Black Doctor Arnquist made an issue of it, and

they didn't quite dare to veto him. But they never intended to let me

finish, not for a minute."

For a moment the two were silent, staring down at the busy landing

procedures below. A warning light was flickering across the field,

signaling the landing of an incoming shuttle ship, and the supply cars

broke from their positions in center of the field and fled like beetles

for the security of the garages. A loudspeaker blared, announcing the

incoming craft. Dal Timgar turned, lifting Fuzzy gently from his arm

into a side jacket pocket and shouldering his day pack. "I guess this is

my flight, Tiger. I'd better get in line."

Tiger Martin gripped Dal's slender four-fingered hand tightly. "Look,"

he said intensely, "this is some sort of mistake that the training

council will straighten out. I'm sure of it. Lots of guys have their

applications reviewed. It happens all the time, but they still get their

assignments."

"Do you know of any others in this class? Or the last class?"

"Maybe not," Tiger said. "But if they were washing you out, why would

the council be reviewing it? Somebody must be fighting for you."

"But Black Doctor Tanner is on the council," Dal said.

"He's not the only one on the council. It's going to work out. You'll

see."

"I hope so," Dal said without conviction. He started for the loading

line, then turned. "But where are _you_ going to be? What ship?"

Tiger hesitated. "Not assigned yet. I'm taking a leave. But you'll be

hearing from me."

The loading call blared from the loudspeaker. The tall Earthman seemed

about to say something more, but Dal turned away and headed across

toward the line for the shuttle plane. Ten minutes later, he was aloft

as the tiny plane speared up through the black night sky and turned its

needle nose toward the west.

* * * * *

He tried to sleep, but couldn't. The shuttle trip from the Port of

Philadelphia to Hospital Seattle was almost two hours long because of

passenger stops at Hospital Cleveland, Eisenhower City, New Chicago, and

Hospital Billings. In spite of the help of the pneumatic seats and a

sleep-cap, Dal could not even doze. It was one of the perfect clear

nights that often occurred in midsummer now that weather control could

modify Earth's air currents so well; the stars glittered against the

black velvet backdrop above, and the North American continent was free

of clouds. Dal stared down at the patchwork of lights that flickered up

at him from the ground below.

Passing below him were some of the great cities, the hospitals, the

research and training centers, the residential zones and supply centers

of Hospital Earth, medical center to the powerful Galactic

Confederation, physician in charge of the health of a thousand

intelligent races on a thousand planets of a thousand distant star

systems. Here, he knew, was the ivory tower of galactic medicine, the

hub from which the medical care of the confederation arose. From the

huge hospitals, research centers, and medical schools here, the

physicians of Hospital Earth went out to all corners of the galaxy. In

the permanent outpost clinics, in the gigantic hospital ships that

served great sectors of the galaxy, and in the General Practice Patrol

ships that roved from star system to star system, they answered the

calls for medicalassistance from a multitude of planets and races,

wherever and whenever they were needed.

Dal Timgar had been on Hospital Earth for eight years, and still he was

a stranger here. To him this was an alien planet, different in a

thousand ways from the world where he was born and grew to manhood. For

a moment now he thought of his native home, the second planet of a hot

yellow star which Earthmen called "Garv" because they couldn't pronounce

its full name in the Garvian tongue. Unthinkably distant, yet only days

away with the power of the star-drive motors that its people had

developed thousands of years before, Garv II was a warm planet, teeming

with activity, the trading center of the galaxy and the governmental


生词表:
  • extensive [ik´stensiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.广阔的;大量的   (初中英语单词)
  • research [ri´sə:tʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vi.调查;探究;研究   (初中英语单词)
  • platform [´plætfɔ:m] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(平)台;讲台;站台   (初中英语单词)
  • flight [flait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.逃走;飞行;班机   (初中英语单词)
  • supposed [sə´pəuzd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.想象的;假定的   (初中英语单词)
  • sharply [´ʃɑ:pli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.锋利地;剧烈地   (初中英语单词)
  • conscious [´kɔnʃəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.意识的;自觉的   (初中英语单词)
  • extremely [ik´stri:mli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.极端地;非常地   (初中英语单词)
  • trousers [´trauzəz] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.裤子,长裤   (初中英语单词)
  • tailor [´teilə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.裁缝 vt.裁制(衣服)   (初中英语单词)
  • jacket [´dʒækit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.茄克衫;外套   (初中英语单词)
  • despair [di´speə] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.&n.绝望   (初中英语单词)
  • suggestion [sə´dʒestʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.建议,提议;暗示   (初中英语单词)
  • altogether [,ɔ:ltə´geðə] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.完全;总而言之   (初中英语单词)
  • observation [,ɔbzə´veiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.观测;注意;意义   (初中英语单词)
  • coldness [´kəuldnis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.寒冷;冷淡   (初中英语单词)
  • gravely [´greivli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.庄重地,严肃地   (初中英语单词)
  • nervous [´nə:vəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.神经的;神经过敏的   (初中英语单词)
  • atmosphere [´ætməsfiə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.大气;空气;气氛   (初中英语单词)
  • system [´sistəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.系统,体系,制度   (初中英语单词)
  • liquid [´likwid] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.液体 a.流动的   (初中英语单词)
  • medical [´medikəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.医学的;医疗的   (初中英语单词)
  • commander [kə´mɑ:ndə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.指挥员,司令员   (初中英语单词)
  • aboard [ə´bɔ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&prep.在…上   (初中英语单词)
  • scarlet [´skɑ:lit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.猩红色 a.猩红的   (初中英语单词)
  • stomach [´stʌmək] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.胃;胃口,食欲   (初中英语单词)
  • physician [fi´ziʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(内科)医生   (初中英语单词)
  • ashamed [ə´ʃeimd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.惭愧;不好意思   (初中英语单词)
  • admission [əd´miʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.接纳;承认   (初中英语单词)
  • slender [´slendə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.细长的;微薄的   (初中英语单词)
  • willing [´wiliŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.情愿的,乐意的   (初中英语单词)
  • waiting [´weitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.等候;伺候   (初中英语单词)
  • beginning [bi´giniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开始,开端;起源   (初中英语单词)
  • standing [´stændiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.持续 a.直立的   (初中英语单词)
  • collar [´kɔlə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.衣领;(狗等的)项圈   (初中英语单词)
  • gently [´dʒentli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.温和地;静静地   (初中英语单词)
  • permanent [´pə:mənənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.永久的;不变的   (初中英语单词)
  • envelope [´envələup] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.信封,封皮   (初中英语单词)
  • application [,æpli´keiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.申请;申请书;应用   (初中英语单词)
  • security [si´kjuəriti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.安全;证券;抵押品   (初中英语单词)
  • conviction [kən´vikʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.定罪;确信,信服   (初中英语单词)
  • velvet [´velvit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.天鹅绒(般的)   (初中英语单词)
  • continent [´kɔntinənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.大陆,陆地   (初中英语单词)
  • charge [tʃɑ:dʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.收费;冲锋 n.费用   (初中英语单词)
  • assistance [ə´sistəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.协作;援助;帮助   (初中英语单词)
  • multitude [´mʌltitju:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.大群(批);众多   (初中英语单词)
  • whenever [wen´evə] 移动到这儿单词发声  conj.&ad.无论何时   (初中英语单词)
  • planet [´plænit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.行星   (初中英语单词)
  • uncover [ʌn´kʌvə] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.揭开(盖子);揭露   (高中英语单词)
  • publication [,pʌbli´keiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.发表;公布;发行   (高中英语单词)
  • fiction [´fikʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.小说;虚构;谎言   (高中英语单词)
  • crisis [´kraisis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.转折点;危机   (高中英语单词)
  • incredible [in´kredəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不能相信的;惊人的   (高中英语单词)
  • surgeon [´sə:dʒən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.外科医生;军医   (高中英语单词)
  • schedule [´ʃedju:l] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.目录;清单;一览表   (高中英语单词)
  • reservation [,rezə´veiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.保留;储备;预定   (高中英语单词)
  • suspicious [sə´spiʃəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.可疑的,多疑的   (高中英语单词)
  • angrily [´æŋgrili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.生气地;愤怒地   (高中英语单词)
  • ridiculous [ri´dikjuləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.荒谬的;可笑的   (高中英语单词)
  • motion [´məuʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.手势 vt.打手势   (高中英语单词)
  • hearing [´hiəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.听力;听证会;审讯   (高中英语单词)
  • cruise [kru:z] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.&n.巡航;航游   (高中英语单词)
  • massive [´mæsiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.厚实的;魁伟的   (高中英语单词)
  • bitterness [´bitənis] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.苦味;辛酸;苦难   (高中英语单词)
  • gamble [´gæmbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.&n.赌博;投机;冒险   (高中英语单词)
  • gloomy [´glu:mi] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.昏暗的;忧郁的   (高中英语单词)
  • emphasize [´emfəsaiz] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.强调   (高中英语单词)
  • tightly [´taitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.紧,紧密地   (高中英语单词)
  • straighten [´streitn] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.弄直;矫正;整理   (高中英语单词)
  • gigantic [dʒai´gæntik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.巨大的   (高中英语单词)
  • manhood [´mænhud] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.人格;男子气概   (高中英语单词)
  • copyright [´kɔpirait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.版权;著作权   (英语四级单词)
  • intruder [in´tru:də] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.闯入者;打扰者   (英语四级单词)
  • terminal [´tə:minəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.终点(站) a.末端的   (英语四级单词)
  • ammonia [ə´məuniə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.阿摩尼亚;氨   (英语四级单词)
  • hopelessly [´həuplisli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.无希望地,绝望地   (英语四级单词)
  • coolly [´ku:li] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.冷(静地),沉着地   (英语四级单词)
  • towering [´tauəriŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.高耸的;强烈的   (英语四级单词)
  • patrol [pə´trəul] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.巡逻 v.巡逻(查)   (英语四级单词)
  • tanner [´tænə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.制革工人   (英语四级单词)
  • warning [´wɔ:niŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.警告;前兆 a.预告的   (英语四级单词)
  • intensely [in´tensli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.激烈地;热切地   (英语四级单词)
  • chicago [ʃi´kɑ:gəu] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.芝加哥   (英语四级单词)
  • midsummer [´mid,sʌmə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.仲夏;夏至   (英语四级单词)
  • confederation [kən,fedə´reiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.同(联)盟;邦联   (英语四级单词)
  • inquisition [iŋkwi´ziʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.调查,询问   (英语六级单词)
  • indifferently [in´difrəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.不关心地;冷淡地   (英语六级单词)
  • gloomily [´glu:mili] 移动到这儿单词发声  adv.忧郁的   (英语六级单词)
  • absently [´æbsəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.心不在焉地   (英语六级单词)
  • landing [´lændiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.登陆;降落;楼梯平台   (英语六级单词)
  • resplendent [ri´splendənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.灿烂的;辉煌的   (英语六级单词)
  • vestige [´vestidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.形迹;痕迹;遗迹   (英语六级单词)
  • intensive [in´tensiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.加强的;精耕细作的   (英语六级单词)
  • nickname [´nikneim] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.绰号 vt.给…起绰口   (英语六级单词)
  • assignment [ə´sainmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.分配;分派;任务   (英语六级单词)
  • hereby [,hiə´bai] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.因此;特此   (英语六级单词)
  • applied [ə´plaid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.实用的,应用的   (英语六级单词)
  • taking [´teikiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.迷人的 n.捕获物   (英语六级单词)
  • governmental [,gʌvʌn´mentl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.政治的,政府的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:57:12
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