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. You see . . . well, uh, I organized it."
"Yes. A good many of the Council don't like the policy of letting the muties alone. Maybe it's sound religious doctrine and maybe it isn't, but we lose a child here and a couple of pigs there. It's annoying."
"What do you expect muties to eat?" demanded Jim belligerently. "Thin air?"
"No, not exactly. Anyhow, the new policy was not entirely destructive. Any muties that surrendered and could be civilized we planned to give to masters and put them to work as part of the Crew. That is, any that weren't, uh . . . that were--" He broke off in embarrassment, and shifted his eyes from the two-headed monstrosity before him.
"You mean any that weren't physical mutations, like me," Joe filled in nastily. "Don't you?" he persisted. "For the likes of me it's the Converter, isn't it?" He slapped the blade of his knife nervously on the palm of his hand.
Ertz edged away, his own hand shifting to his belt. But no knife was slung there; he felt naked and helpless without it. "Just a minute," he said defensively, "you asked me; that's the situation. It's out of my hands. I'm just telling you."
"Let him alone, Joe. He's just handing you the straight dope. It's like I was telling you: either go along with Hugh's plan, or wait to be hunted down. And don't get any ideas about killing him; we're going to need him." As Jim spoke he attempted to return the knife to its sheath