Excerpt: "Some say scientists should keep their noses out of politics. Benson says it's to prevent damage to their olfactory senses. Benson's a physicist. I've known Allan Benson for a long time. In fact I've bodyguarded him for years and think I understand him better than he does himself. And when he shook security at White Sands, my boss didn't hesitate to tell me that knowing Benson as I do I certainly shouldn't have let him skip off. Or crisp words to that effect. The pressure was on. Benson was seeking a new fuelor a way of compressing a known fuelto carry a torchship to Mars. His loss could mean a delay of decades. We knew he'd been close, but not how close. My nickname's Monk. I've fought it, certainly, but what can you do when a well-wishing mother names you after a wealthy uncle and your birth certificate says Neander Thalberg? As early as high school some bright pundit noted the name's similarity to that of a certain prehistoric man. Unfortunately the similarity is not in name alone: I'm muscular, stooped, and, I must admit, not handsome hero model material. Well, maybe the nickname's justified, but still, Al Benson didn't have to give the crowning insult. And yet, if he hadn't, there probably wouldn't be a torchship stern-ending on Mars just about now. C. I. (Central Intelligence, that is) at the Sands figured Benson would head for New York. Which is why the boss sent me here. I registered in a hotel in the 50's and, figuring that whatever Benson intended to do would have spectacular results, I kept the stereo on News. Benson's wife hadn't yielded much info. Sure she described the clothes he was wearing and said he'd taken nothing else except an artist's case. What was in that was anybody's guess; his private lab is such a jumble nobody could tell what, if anything, was missing. C. I. knew his political feelings. Seems he'd been talking wild about the upcoming presidential election and had sworn he'd nip the draft-Cadigan movement in the bud. Cadigan's Mayor of New York City. He's anti-space. In fact, Cadigan's anti just about everything in science except intercontinental missiles. Strictly for defense, of course. Cadigan says."
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