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The Great Adventures of Dirty Pair


ladies are here at the invitation of the Foundation. 。 、 4r. Merutonan, ” replied Bayleaf stiffly. "lt's true the Gravas Foundation virtually controls Dangle. Even so, I don't think it would be wise to make enemies Of the Central Police. ” "S ay what you like , " retorted Merutonan brusque- ly. "On my legitimate authority, I intend to take these two ladies with me. ” "You do, do you!" exclaimed BayIeaf, crumbling in the face Of Merutonan s resolve. "Then dO as you please!" Bayleaf reluctantly left the lobby, his twenty un- derlings in tow. "NOW then, ” said Merutonan, turning t0 face us. He still spoke crisply from the previous argument, and his splendid bald dome gleamed with sweat. "l'm terribly sorry to have been so late. We'll go straight tO Gravas Heavy lndustries headquarters. We were promptly bundled into a big black air- car limouslne waiting outside the spaceport terml- nal. The limousine lifted 0 任 , and moments later we were barreling down the highway, due south.

The Great Adventures of Dirty Pair


Mix Me a Dirty Special "Another! Bring 1 沿 e another bim SOda!" I slammed the empty glass on the counter. lt let 0 仟 a sharp ping of protest. Damnation! lt didn't break. So you think you're tough! "Kay, stop taking it out on the glass. " said Yuri. She was sitting on the stool on my right. Little Miss Prissy had spent three hours sipping away at a sin- gle Scotch and water. That was a far cry from me. l'd already knocked down four bottles of bim all by myself. A big difference. She wasn't even drunk. Shooting 0 仟 her mouth like that! Only a f001 goes tO a bar and doesn't get drunk! "Doesn't it bother you? Aren't you depressed? Doesn t it make you angry? Aren't you mad with rage? ” I thrust a finger at Yuri and pounded in my words. She rolled her eyes, her glass in one hand. "Sure!" I raged, my words slurring a little. "Sure, 118

The Great Adventures of Dirty Pair


CONTENTS Ⅳ h 砒 ' 5 the Big 旧 e 7 Shut Up E .. 25 Who Cares A60 曜 V c 砒 れ s , A れ ) W Got the P03 び ! 62 Get 伝 Our Ⅳ and You Get 旧 80 Nobody Makes F00 可 Us 100 Mix Me D 汁 り SpeciaI 118 46

The Great Adventures of Dirty Pair


The saucer swerved after the Galapagos as it wob- bled intO a turn. lt plunged smack intO the main engine r00n1 at the liner's stern. And there was a very big bang. "O-o-o-ohhhhhh.. Yuri and I couldn't bear to watch. We covered our faces. Galapagos broke in two, and tumbled toward the planet below. Of course, there was no way t0 save her. "The bastard!" cried Yuri furiously. Her fists were clenched and trembling. "He knew he couldn't beat us in a fair fight, so he found this way to put us on the spot. You said it, Yuri. We really were on the spot. 24

The Great Adventures of Dirty Pair


from Federated Terra a decade ago and joined Unit- ed Galactica. When you think about it, the human race has C01 沿 e a long way in Just the three decades since it launched 0ff int0 deep space. lncredible vitality is the word. I suppose that vitality must be a manifestation 0f the lifeforce 0f the species itself. ln recent years terraforming technology has been advancing by leaps and bounds. Nowadays even planets that once were left tO themselves as unfit for human habitation are being rebuilt intO coloniz- able worlds. Some states even plan tO terraform a11 the planets in their SOlar systems. At this rate, vir- tually every planet state in the galaxy will have intO an even 1 れ ore advanced form Of government within just the next few years SOlar states, perhaps? Thirty years. Just 30 years and it's already come tO this. lt kind Of makes you think the universe it- self has blessed humanity's advance. As if it joyful- ly flung wide its gates Of its own accord. Can that really be true? Well, I for one sure don't think so. Man doesn't control the universe; it hasn't surrendered. only given our human race itsy-bitsy chance (and that strikes me as incredibly generous). Somehow we've been able t0 make good on that 27

The Great Adventures of Dirty Pair


"NOW, what l'm thinking is this. ln our next is- sue l'd like to do a special feature on the Dirty, no, no , not the Dirty , on the Lovely Angels. H00- h000- h00. Doesn't that sound interesting!" He abruptly downed his Scotch and water in a single gulp. I blew my top. lnteresting? lnteresting! Why the little creep! As if things weren't bad enough already, he wants to use WWWA trouble consultants in a special issue Of his filthy little maga- zine? Who do you think you're kidding, you empty- headed idiot? F001 ! "Damn you!" I exploded in a rage, my veins stand- ing out blue on my forehead. "What do you think the WWWA is you, you little impotent—!" imp, lmpotent... !" That was enough to make even Doteoka peel his eyes. NO doubt it was the first time he'd ever been called that by anyone (I know this may sound fun- ny coming from my own mouth) as beautiful as I. His face went white as a sheet. Maybe by chance he really was impotent. Well, take that, buddy! What the hell, l'm drunk. Don't mind me. "lf you don't dig impotent, then pimpotent!" I shrieked meaninglessly. "Can't you see we re depressed about being chewed out by our boss? You potato head!" "Badmouth your boss and he'll say you re acting 123

The Great Adventures of Dirty Pair


turned intO burning fragments. one tO go. But... but at that 1 沿 01 第 ent we made our deci- sive error. gotten careless. been SO sorbed in the enemy that we'd forgotten t0 keep an eye on What was going us. The first to notice was , as might be expected , Yuri at the radar screen. "Uuuuhmfff! ” lt was an indescribable sound, not quite a scream. "What is it? ” "ln the saucer s way," Yuri gasped. "There's a big civilian ship in itS way. The saucer, convinced it didn't stand a chance, was already running away. TO suddenly have a big transport p10d int0 its path spelled disaster. Trans- ports aren't only sluggish, they don't have anything tO protect themselves with. "Accelerate out in front Of the saucer! ” I shouted impatiently. "lmpossible! " Yuri snapped back. "We're in the atmosphere. There's a limit tO hOW fast we can go. "Then raise the ship on the com-link and tell them tO get out Of the way!" dO it! ” she wailed. Her VOice W as as edgy as mine. "l've got my hands full just flying this thing!" "GOt you! ” 22

The Great Adventures of Dirty Pair


What's the Big ldea? ・ み e went intO orbit around Planet Dangle. 人 401 れ ents later ground control sent us a Who-Are- You. That in itself was pretty unusual. Usually an orbital relay station handles that kind of red tape ・ lt takes t00 long t0 respond t0 problems from pl anetside. But according t0 the b ackground materi- al l'd been boning up on on your way here, there were only five space stations orbit around gle, and a11 of them were research platforms belong- ing tO the Gravas Foundation. There wasn t a single public station for orbital traffic control. Giant space stations are different from dinky lit- tle satellites. There's a limit tO hOW many you can have in orbit; five is about the 1 れ ax. Seeing hOW planet state Dangle was under the de factO control of the Gravas Foundation, I don't suppcjse they had any chOice about giving Gravas exclusive rights tO station constructlon. 7

The Great Adventures of Dirty Pair


I switched on the transmitter, and hailed the ship on civilian frequencies. They responded immediate- ly. She was the 300-meter passenger liner Galapa- gos, as big as they come for planetary liftoff passenger ships. She was just making her approach to Kurutomi Spaceport. Already she was well be- 10W 4,000 meters. Captain Guernicca 0f the Galapagos didn't even try tO understand the situation, no matter hOW desperately I explained what was happening. Even as we talked, the flying saucer plunged ever closer t0 his ship. ln the end it was the Kurutomi Spaceport con- trol tower, not Galapagos herself, that grasped the gravity Of the situation. lnstantly a warning went out. And receiving it, the liner finally began t0 plod ontO a new heading. "Oh! Ah! What the—! " Yuri shrieked, her eyes going round. "He's not j ust attacking! He thinks he's a Ka れ た a て e ! ” "EEEH! ” I squeezed the laser trigger for a11 1 was worth. The only way to stop him was t0 sh00t him down. But the saucer was no sluggard when it came tO running. Already he was t00 far away. The laser beams looked like they were scoring direct hits, but they weren t powerful enough t0 take him out. 23

The Great Adventures of Dirty Pair


The reply 伝 om Vulcan w as “ CIeared for docking ・ Maybe it was surprising, maybe it wasn't. ln any case, there wasn t anything we could dO from the outside tO such an awesome station. We had tO get inside S01 沿 ehOW. If our hOSts were willing tO let us in, that was just jim dandy. "The question is, how do we get through the airlock? ” said Yuri. That was an obvious enough questlon. "They'll probably be waiting for us … That, t00 , was obvious. At first l'd thought Vul- can might only be a temporary refuge for Dr. Tep- peus. But that hardly seemed likely now. No doubt Vulcan was itself the main stronghold of the 'dastardly plot threatening the peace 0f the entire galaxy , ' that Dr. Angaron had w arned 0f in his mes- sage. With a few modifications, a space station that size could quickly be turned intO a fortress. "One-thousand kilometers tO Vulcan! ” said Yuri, beginning a countdown. There was barely any time left before we docked. "There's nothing for it but to make as big a splash as we can, ” I said. better wear spacesuits. pulled transparent metallite a110Y spacesuits on over our regular ClOthes. When stretched very thin, metallite a110Y is supple but still extremely tough, and it's remarkably light as well. A direct 88