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. "I see," he admitted grimly.
Hugh Hoyland looked at him eagerly. "Then you're with me?"
"I suppose so," Joe admitted. "Right!" added Jim.
Hoyland looked back to Ertz. "How about you, Bill Ertz?"
"What choice have I got?"
"Plenty. I want you with me wholeheartedly. Here's the layout: The Crew doesn't count; it's the officers we have to convince. Any that aren't too addlepated and stiff-necked to understand after they've seen the stars and the Control Room, we keep. The others--" he drew a thumb across his throat while making a harsh sibilance in his cheek, "the Converter."
Bobo grinned happily and imitated the gesture and the sound.
Ertz nodded. "Then what?"
"Muties and Crew together, under a new Captain, we move the Ship to Far Centaurus! Jordan's Will be done!"
Ertz stood up and faced Hoyland. It was a heady notion, too big to be grasped at once, but, by Jordan! he liked it. He spread his hands on the table and leaned across it. "I'm with you, Hugh Hoyland!"
A knife clattered on the table before him, one from the brace at Joe-Jim's belt. Joe looked startled, seemed about to speak to his brother, then appeared to think better of it. Ertz looked his thanks and stuck the knife in his belt.
The twins whispered to each other for a moment, then Joe spoke up. "Might as well make it stick," he said. He drew his remaining knife and, grasping the blade between thumb and forefinger so that only the point was exposed, he jabbed himself in the fleshly upper part of his left arm