By Jerry Pournelle
A few days it simply did not pay to be a soldier. Captain Rick Galloway and his males have been talked into volunteering for a deadly undertaking -only to be ruthlessly deserted while faceless CIA higher-ups pulled the plug at the operation. They have been bring to a halt in antagonistic territory, with neighborhood troops and their Cuban "advisors" speedily remaining in. after which the alien spaceship landed...
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There was plenty to eat; soup and canned bacon and ham, canned vegetables, and pudding for dessert. André Parsons found a water tap—Kohler of Kohler—near the coffee urn. There was a drain beneath it. Other troops found cases of warm beer and several jugs of wine, enough so that everyone had a beer and a full cup of California red. There was plenty of coffee. When they had eaten, they all felt better. The troops prowled about restlessly, but eventually began making themselves comfortable, using what was in their packs and whatever else they could find to bed down.
Rick didn’t care much for the idea. If the planet were that primitive in weapons, it would also be primitive in hygiene and medical science. Living there would not be much fun. He wondered what it would be like to be on welfare in one of Agzaral’s cultures. It hadn’t sounded pleasant, but Agzaral was undoubtedly used to more luxuries than Rick was. But then there was that phrase “experimental subjects,” and that didn’t sound good at all. There was another problem that would be even worse. “We’re all men,” Rick said.
Elliot looked ashamed. ” They’ve run, Rick thought. Well, I can understand that. I thought of it myself. “Get aboard, then,” he ordered. After Elliot climbed in, Rick followed. They were the last. As soon as Rick cleared the entryway, the outer door slid closed. When he went through into the compartment with the troops, that entryway closed also. They were blocked off from the outside and from the control room—or whatever that room was, Rick thought. Mason was still in there with the aliens. There was a loud musical tone, and a voice said, “Everyone will please sit on the floor.
Janissaries by Jerry Pournelle