By James White

Ambulance Ship
184pp. The medics have been in worse possibility than the sufferers they have been attempting so challenging to save...Keywords: technological know-how Fiction

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And evacuate the casualties in a fraction of the time needed for an EVA transfer, Conway thought thankfully. Medical attention was only minutes away for those who had been able to survive thus far. He stood up, closed and sealed his helmet. “I’ll handle the docking,” said Fletcher briskly. “You two go with the Doctor. Chen, stay put unless they send for you. They felt the tiny shock of the Rhabwar making contact with the other ship while they were still inside their own midships lock with the inner seal closed behind them.

The emergency lighting system was functioning and bright enough to show all the figures in detail, including the webbing that bound each man’s legs together, his arms tightly to his sides and extra air tanks on his back. The spacesuits were all of the rigid, heavy-duty type, so the tight webbing did not compress the underlying limbs and torsos and whatever injuries they might have sustained. In each case the helmet visor was covered by its almost opaque sun filter. Moving carefully between two of the drifting figures, Conway steadied one and slid back the sun filter.

Nine here, Doctor,” said Haslam after a quick count. “One crew-member is missing. ” “Not yet,” said Conway, thinking that the missing officer had been a very busy man. He had sent a subspace radio message, released a distress beacon when the automatic release mechanism had malfunctioned or he had been unable to work it, and he had moved his companions from their duty positions in various parts of their ship to the airlock antechamber. It was not inconceivable that during these activities he had damaged his spacesuit and had been forced to find himself an airtight compartment somewhere to await rescue.

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