The Green Brain

The Green Brain by Frank Herbert Read Free Book Online

Book: The Green Brain by Frank Herbert Read Free Book Online
Authors: Frank Herbert
not the government of Brazil, Doctor. I am licensed by my government for a specific task. I am pledged to carry out that task wherever …”
    â€œMartinho, if you destroy evidence of …”
    â€œYou were not out here facing those things, Doctor . You were safe back there at the Plaza’s edge while I was earning the right to look in that hole.”
    Chen-Lhu’s face grew rigid with anger, but he held himself silent until he knew he could control his voice, then said, “In that case, I will go with you now.”
    â€œAs you wish.”
    Martinho turned away, stared across the Plaza to where the carbines were being handed out of the rear of his truck. Vierho collected them, headed back across the lawn. A tall, bald-headed Negro with right arm in a sling fell into step beside Vierho. The Negro wore a
uniform of plain bandeirante white with the golden spray emblem of a band leader at his left shoulder. His craggy, Moorish features were drawn into a scowl of pain.
    â€œThere’s Alvarez,” Chen-Lhu said.
    â€œI see him.”
    Chen-Lhu faced Martinho, assumed a rueful smile to match his tone. “Johnny—let us not fight. You know why the IEO assigned me to Brazil.”
    â€œI know. China’s already completed the realignment of its insects. You’re a big success.”
    â€œWe’ve nothing but the mutated bees now, Johnny—not a single creature to spread disease or eat food intended for humans.”
    â€œI know, Travis. And you’re here to make our job easier.”
    Chen-Lhu frowned at the tone of patient disbelief in Martinho’s voice. He said, “Exactly.”
    â€œThen why won’t you let our observers or those from the UN go in and see for themselves, Doctor?”
    â€œJohnny! You certainly must know how long my country suffered under the white imperialists. Some of our people believe the danger’s still there. They see spies everywhere.”
    â€œBut you’re more a man of the world, more understanding, eh, Travis?”
    â€œOf course! My great grandmother was English, one of the Travis-Huntingtons. We have a tradition of broader understanding in my family.”
    â€œIt’s a wonder your country trusts you,” Martinho said. “You’re part white imperialist.” He turned to greet Alvarez as the Negro stopped in front of them. “Hi, Benito. Sorry about your arm.”
    â€œHullo, Johnny.” Alvarez’s voice was deep and rumbling. “God protected me. I will recover.” He glanced
down at the carbines in Vierho’s hands, returned his attention to Martinho. “I heard the Padre here asking for blast-pellets. You could only want them for one reason.”
    â€œI have to look in that hole, Benito.”
    Alvarez turned, gave a stiff little bow to Chen-Lhu. “And you have no objections, Doctor?”
    â€œI’ve objections, but no authority,” Chen-Lhu said. “Is the arm severely injured? I will have my own physicians see to it.”
    â€œThe arm will recover,” Alvarez rumbled.
    â€œHe really wants to know if it was actually injured,” Martinho said.
    Chen-Lhu turned a startled look at Martinho, masked it quickly.
    Vierho handed one of the carbines to his chief, said, “Jefe, we have to do this?”
    â€œWhy would the good Doctor doubt that my arm was injured?” Alvarez asked.
    â€œHe has heard stories,” Martinho said.
    â€œWhat stories?”
    â€œThat we bandeirantes don’t want to see a good thing end, that we’re reinfesting the Green, breeding new insects in secret laboratories.”
    â€œThat rot!” Alvarez growled.
    â€œWhich bandeirantes are supposed to be doing this?” Vierho demanded. He scowled at Chen-Lhu, gripped the carbine as though ready to turn it on the IEO official.
    â€œEasy, Padre,” Alvarez said. “The stories never say. It’s always they or them —never

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