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route. He was reasonably sure that he had just enough left to finish the job, but he couldn't be absolutely sure, since none of the contemporary interstellar guide books indicated how much it cost these days to grow a human being on the black market.

In a waiting room that smelled vaguely of machine oil, Marcus look at the list of costs handed to him by the man in the white lab coat. He was a human, operating in Brakiri space because he had been drummed out of every human medical association on record -- expulsions that had resulted from illegal and almost certainly immoral experimentation on the human genome. The experiments were daring, innovative, and caused him no end of trouble.

Which made him just the right person for what Marcus had in mind, and the facilities he'd been able to construct out here with Brakiri funding were more than sufficient to the cause at hand. But the total cost was still a shock.

"Right, fine," he said, quite casually. "I'm in."

"Good. Let me see it."

Marcus produced a strand of hair from a plasticine pouch, a hair that he had found on his uniform

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