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By John Brunner
In Double, Double, a random number of strangers converges on a seashore city, no longer figuring out each other and having not anything in universal. A secret from the ocean, a shape-shifter, starts to take over the folk and convey oddly behaving duplicates of them. a mixture of clinical wisdom and a bit success should be all that stands among mankind and an alien invasion.
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All of them grew to become to Branksome. “I be aware of the place it might have gotten one! ” he exclaimed. “The pilot of that aircraft which crashed final Monday! ” “Lord, certain! ” Innis stated. “That matches, too. And if it bought a few type of awake reminiscence besides the mobile reminiscence guiding its switch of form, then it'll have felt the impulse to paintings its means ashore. ” “And i do know whilst it got here ashore, and where,” Branksome acknowledged. “And after it got here ashore, it stumbled on pass over Beeding, and—and took her over, and … Where’s the closest mobile? ” He jumped to his ft. “In my office,” Tom stated. “What’s the hurry? ” “Don’t you know there’s this kind of issues up at Geddesley psychological medical institution? ” Branksome rapped, and dashed for the door. at the threshold, he checked and became again. “Wait a second. whenever it feeds it takes on a brand new shape, that correct? ” “Presumably,” Tom agreed. “And the recent shape is—is twins? ” “Well, that may clarify every thing very smartly, wouldn’t it? ” “Then the place in hell can the opposite Stevens be? ” They checked out him blankly. He handed a drained give up his face. “Sorry, you wouldn’t have heard approximately that. The ‘Miss Beeding’ within the sanatorium behaved in every kind of strange ways—seemed to have forgotten part the phrases of the language, in response to Dr. Nimms, grew to become violent and wouldn’t enable someone contact her…” “To cease somebody checking out that her ‘clothes’ have been just a really good kind of dermis! ” Tom rapped. “Possibly. besides, in the course of the evening she overpowered a male nurse known as Stevens, and now there needs to be of him, correct? yet just one was once mentioned from the health facility. the opposite one should have acquired away! ” “You say she remembered merely part the phrases within the language? ” Dr. Innis whispered, face drawn. “That’s correct. ” “But the truth that the creature remembered any of them in any respect is incredible—and terrifying! ” Innis jumped to his ft. “If it absorbed the ability of speech and rational idea in addition to the form of the human physique, then after a couple of extra feeds the creatures are going to be absolutely outfitted with every thing they need—language, comprehension, everything—to move themselves off as contributors of our personal species! ” there has been a frozen pause. ultimately Branksome stirred. He stated, “Well, although that could be, there’s something i need to do correct away—tell Dr. Nimms that what he’s bought in leave out Beeding’s telephone isn’t a guy, yet a bloody fish! ” XXI Alerted via the telephone name, taking a look burdened, Dr. Nimms greeted Sergeant Branksome and the bewildered leader Inspector Neville—whom in basic terms the medical attractiveness of Dr. Innis had persuaded to return out from county police headquarters—as quickly as they arrived on the psychological sanatorium. “I couldn’t make head or tail of this tale you spun me over the phone,” he declared to the sergeant. “But at once you’d spoken to me I went again to take one other glance at—at Stevens, or whoever it's. We’re dreadfully busy right here, understaffed and overworked, and albeit all I’d performed up until eventually then used to be to set up that his matched pass over Beeding’s in each specific. Which it did look to—words lacking from what he acknowledged, unexpected irrational violence if i attempted to the touch him.