The disaster occurred seconds after the alien spaceship flashed the record of its approach to Earth on the big radar detector screen outside Denver. It happened so fast that nothing could be done about it. For a frantic instant the astonished operator on duty thought that it must be one of those rare meteors which survive the flaming friction of the atmosphere and actually crash Earth's surface.

The last scheduled space-ship was already safely bedded down for the night at the big mountain airport and the object moved far too rapidly to be any other sort of man-made vehicle or projectile.Suddenly, right on the screen in front of him, it came to a halt-while still nearly ten miles up. The pip of light that marked its passage was briefly still. Then, against all rules of science and logic, it simply ceased to be. The operator stared at his screen, scratched his head and tested the apparatus.

Everything appeared to be working as it should. He wondered next if something were the matter with himself-a train of thought which his ego was quick to deny.When nothing else untoward appeared on the screen, he shrugged the whole business off. The automatic tape recorder was on and the experts could decide what it was when they came on duty with the morning that still lay long hours ahead. He made a brief notation on the Dictaphone of what he had seen and sent his thoughts winging back to that wriggly little brunette in Operations.

WHEN the day-shift came in, clear eyed or otherwise according to its fashion, a subordinate noticed the entry on the dictaphone during a routine run back. He checked the automatic tape recorder and was sufficiently puzzled to report it to Dr. Rivers, in charge of Detection at the Denver Port. That worthy grunted and got back to his racing form as soon as he was once more alone in his office. He had long since decided that anyone under the age of forty-two was liable to see anything from flying dragons to click beetles when left alone at night with a radar watch. Dr. Rivers was forty-three.

Three hours later Dr. Rivers was re minded of the odd report when word came in from a Forest Ranger station fifteen miles away in the Rockies as the helicopter flies. The Rangers had spotted some strange wreckage on their nice clean mountain and were anxious to have somebody get out there and clear it off. This brought Professor Franz Reich man and Seana Ryan on the scene as rapidly as rocket flight could bring them from Berlin and Boston respectively.

Dr. Reichman was beyond question the leading interplanetary biologist of Earth while Seana, behind her serene brown-and-blue-tinted harlequin glasses, was rated among the half dozen ablest chemical analysts in the Western Hemisphere.

Seana got there first. She was still staring in wonderment at the strange objects which had been brought to the big Denver space-laboratories from the mountains when the Herr Doctor walked in briskly, if a trifle unsteadily. She regarded him balefully. "I am sorry, gnadige fraulein," he told her with a stiff little bow that all but deposited him upon his large flat proboscis. "Rocket landings always for me time to recover take. The motion-"

"Forget it, Doctor," she replied absently, refocusing her attention on the object on the long table in front of her. "What do you make of this? It certainly seems to be alien." This was the one object which had survived the strange disaster in some thing like what must have been its original shape. It was unexpectedly light in weight as it was incredibly tough despite the delicacy of its design.

"Strange it is," said Dr. Reichman in his heavily-accented English. Seana, who was considerable of a linguist, took pity on him and began conversing in fluent German. The object, whatever it was, rated discussion between scientist in any language.

Its body-if it had a body-was roughly like an hour glass in shape, twonear-globes joined together by a slim waist with four delicate three-jointed legs attached, two on either side, to the larger.At the end of its smaller globe was a sort of beak and from its top sprayed a pair of curving antennae that were almost lyre-like in their symmetry. It was thirty-eight and six-tenths centimeters overall in length, stood twenty three and five-sixteenths centimeters to the highest part of its antennae.

"Donnerwetter!" exploded Dr. Reich man in wonderment. There were other fragments, of course, including pieces of an apparent mate to the strange artifact-if artifact it was. Bits of burned and blasted substance that might have come from some sort of a ship-crystallized fragments of high-powered machinery-some utterly mangled and much less pleasant charred fragments.

Three months later the decisions were made, following a series of exhaustive and, to Seana and Dr. Reichman, exhausting checks and analyses. Abetted by scientists in many other fields the two experts had come up with some astonishing but eminently sound results.Earth had unquestionably been approached by an alien ship for the first time in recorded history. Tracers had been able to establish other records of the appearance of the doomed visitors from beyond space. Once they knew what to look for on their records, and when radar-detector tapes were found to have picked up its approach on a wide span.

The alien ship had approached Earth from a wide orbit, had circled the planet three times before disaster overcame it and its occupants. Thanks to these records the huge cybernetic machines at the University of Chicago were able to compute its flight-source-which was unquestionably the hitherto unvisited fourth satellite of Jupiter, Callisto.The factors involved in this computation were obscure to laymen but were irrefutable to science.

"Apparently these beings, whatever they may be," Seana told the United Nations Council in her report, "are without metal. They seem to have little need of it save for whatever miscalculation or disaster destroyed them. They create their artifacts from animal and vegetable substance which they seem to be able to reinforce molecularly to enormous strengths. It is a little like a super amber."

She went on to describe her findings, from them to reconstruct a probable picture of the level of culture and science on Callisto. It must be, she stated, a reasonably high civilization or a space-ship capable of reaching the atmosphere of Earth could not have been constructed. It was, in her opinion, definitely worth visiting. Dr. Reichman backed her up. Apparently the strange amber bug, which alone had survived the smash-up, indicated culture of a very high level.

Abetted by other scientists he suggested that Callisto must have a sort of insect dominant species developed far beyond any of the insects of Earth. As the big satellite had a diameter of 3,200 miles, more than that of the planet Mercury, it was not improbable that it had an atmosphere capable of supporting life of a high order. Its atmospheric density must be low or the creatures could not be so delicately made-a point to consider.

"Tell me, Professor," said one of the Council members, leaning forward,"Why, if such a civilization exists on Callisto, no traces of it have been spotted by ships which have circled it."

Dr. Reichman shrugged. "It highly probable is," he said in his mangled English, "that such an insect culture might well underground live. Deflnitely they our ants resemble. They must each to its task conformist be. Such things deflnite are."

"If we consent to an expedition would you care to go?" the Chairman of the Council asked the two scientist.

Five weeks later Seana and Dr. Reich man landed on the vast Marsport Field on the first leg of their journey to Callisto. And that evening they were introduced to Space-Colonel Juan Martin, who had been assigned to pilot their expectation. Seana's first reaction to the crack pilot-astrogator was one of relief that he was not handsome-in spite of the unexpectedly light-blond hair that contrasted with his swarthy Latin features.Then he spoke and she was not sure about his not being handsome. There was liquid passion in his soft accents. Then he smiled and her alarm bells set up an instant inner clamor.

"You are familiar with the purpose of this mission?" she asked him as he lounged comfortably in one of the big armchairs in the Marsport commandant's office.

"You want to crack Callisto-right?" he countered easily.

"It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time my self ever since Tacky Akyama went in there and was never heard of."

"We about that misfortune read have," said Dr. Reichman with a slight decibel drop which Seana had learned implied sympathy on the German scientist's part. He used it whenever he showed her pictures of his wife and nine children-which he did on an average of some five times per week.

"We roomed together at U.N. Academy," said Juan Martin quietly, a far away look in his eyes.

"Aren't you rather young for a Space Colonel?" said Seana, wary of even an indirect emotional approach."Not that I mean to be rude, of course, but-"

"But you are," said Colonel Martin with a smile that showed his teeth. "In this branch of the service we rise fast- if we live. And aren't you a little young yourself to be hiding behind those big Dectacles and running around the System with test tube in hand? Not that I mean to be inquisitive, of course, but-"

"You will have a week to make final Desertions." The Commandant broke in hastily. To Seana the grizzled space veteran looked on the rim of mirthful apoplexy and she didn't like him the better for his amusement.

HE ADDED, "Colonel Martin is the ablest and most experienced space pilot available at this station at present.I feel certain that you will find him satisfactory."

"Thank you, sir," said Martin, rising. "If that will be all, sir?"When the Commandant nodded he saluted, bowed frigidly to Seana and Dr. Reichman, strode out. As he went he was humming an old twentieth-century folk tune entitled Somebody Loves Me.

"Well !" said Seana. And again, "Well!"

"You must remember that this is Mars, Miss Ryan," the Commandant told her gently. "Results count a lot more than protocol out here. And you'll find that Colonel Martin can deliver them."

"I hope so," said Seana dubiously. Then for a time she forgot about their imprudent pilot-astrogator as they plunged into a highly technical discussion with the Commandant about what was going to be needed for their journey to Jupiter's fourth satellite. She saw him several times during each day of the week that followed, of course. There were only the three of them going-and at that it was going to be crowded in the Thetis III.

While the ship itself rose more than two hundred feet in the air, a slim silvery spire with in its launching platform, only a scant thirty feet of its length was reserved for quarters. The rest went for engines and shields and storage space.

He was always courteous, always efficient-yet Seana received a definite impression that he was laughing at her beneath his carefully grave exterior. This did nothing to make her feel any more friendly toward him. Nor did the fact that Dr. Reichman seemed to have been won over quickly by his half-latin charm.

Finally it was time to go aboard for takeoff. The sight of the two girls from the Marsport cabaret who came to the field to see Martin off made Sean First look down at her bulky space-cover -all and wish she had done something with her hair, which was carelessly skinned back to a bun on her neck. Then contemptuously, she turned her attention to a needless final check of her equipment.

Colonel Martin was whistling softly through his even white teeth as he came aboard and pushed the airlock buttons that sealed them within the ship. In the crook of one arm was one of the absurd little statuette, called Ciro Girls, which had long since replaced the pinups of an earlier age.

Colonel Martin placed it cheerfully in a padded niche built at the head of his bunk, before lying down and arranging his safety belts. Seanea, across the cabin, regarded him with deeper contempt. She had heard that such men delighted in such sensual distortions of the human figure-female gender. He caught her glance and grinned without shame. "Meet Sally Lou, Seana -the hottest little mascot this side of Luna.

"Whither I go, thither Sally Lou goest. Ain't she an asteroid queen ?"

"I think she's vulgar," the girl burst out, then blushed.

Colonel Martin chuckled, enjoying her embarrassment. He said, "Tacky Akyama and I got them together. His had green eyelashes. I like my little redhead better."

"You know no woman ever looked like that," said Seana.

"Maybe-o," Martin replied."But I can dream, can't I ?" He leered out rageously then asked the scientists if they were set. At their arent he pressed the button which activated the launching blast. Seana felt wrenching pressure, unlike the gentle acceleration of the big space-liner that had brought her to Martin. For a little while she blacked out.

The journey was one long bicker between Martin and herself. When Juan wasn't disputing with them endlessly about the validity of their scientiflc estimates of conditions on and around Callisto, he and Seana were arguing about such varied and futile subjects as what was good taste and were astrogators more important than scientists.

They fought about everything. Being neither a fool nor uneducated Seana was by no means unaware of the deeper implications of their confiict. She had never permitted any man to occupy much non-professional space in her life and the idea of falling in love, especially with a space-adventurer like Juan, appalled her. Even more appalling was the posibility that she might be falling in love with him while he could not possibly find her attractive. She began to remember more and more often the two lush sirens who had .seen Juan off at Marsport.

She wondered what it would be like to concentrate upon being attractive to men-to one man in this instance. It could have Its points, she decided, even though they were not scientific. And then she thought of her own powderless face, her plain hair and practical clothing, her utter non-practise in allure. She began more and more to loathe Sally Lou as the embodiment of every thing she had denied herself so scrupulously during her twenty-eight buay years. The little doll was almost obscene in its voluptuousness and frank sexual allure.

She found herself actually con sidering-tossing Sally Lou through the disposal vent. But the stare moved past inflnitesi mally and at last the huge orb of Jupiter loomed larger and larger in their view ing plates. Juan spent more and more time at his complex banks of instruments and, scientist or not, Seana found herself admiring the deftness with which he handled them.

When they began their first circle of the huge satellite, Dr. Reiehman and Juan got into their last serious dispute. It broke out when the German Scientist insisted that Juan was making his approach far too slowly, was wasting both time and fuel.

"I tell you, Herr Kapitan," he expostulated, "that you no need of such precautions have. My reconstructions the atmospheric envelop far less dense to be show. I demand you them follow."

"Listen, Doc," said the astrogator easily, "you stick to your business and I'll stick to mine. We're circling this oversized Luna three times to cut velocity and that's that.

"He's right, Juan," Seana heard her self saying. "We checked every possibility and the construction of the artifact we've found proved it. I thought you fellows were brave."

"Oh, we are," said Juan with a mocking smile. "We're brave enough. But if we don't follow our best instincts we have a way of turning up dead-as do those for whom we are responsible."

"But it perfectly safe is," Dr. Reich man protested.

"You're probably right," Juan told him. "But just the same I'm orbiting three times for a slow landing. I've seen these foolproof scientific theories go haywire too many times."

"Now you're being insulting," snapped Seana, angry and disliking herself for allowing him to stir any emotion in her.

"Not this time," he replied calmly. "I know how Akyama planned to do it- and like most Japs he was a stickler for planning and sticking to his plans. He had satisfactory proof that a single-man ship with three-D walls and single-action struts could be brought in on one and a half orbits. He didn't make it.

"This is an Sp-R three-man rocket with seven-E walls and triple-action strutting. We're going to make three orbits and play it reasonably safe. What do we know about Callisto anyway?"

"You're impossible," snapped Seana but she turned away and went back to her bunk and lay down. She could hear Dr. Reichman arguing with Juan but to no avail. Juan was a stubborn space mule, she thought, as the hum of the rockets caused her to fall asleep. Yet somewhere, deep within herself, she was glad for his extra care. The scientists' first surprise came at the beginning of their third orbit when Juan called their attention to certain of his dials. When Dr. Reichman saw them and read them he looked at Juan, then at Seana, pathetic in his bewilderment.

"All right," said Seana to Juan. "Go ahead and crow."

"I'm not crowing," the spaceman told them. "I'm just glad I figured it right. Callisto has virtually the same atmosphere as Earth and a good two thirds of its gravity."

"It isn't possible !" muttered Dr. Reichman in German. "It simply isn't possible." He moved back toward the storage rooms, shaking his head in bewilderment, and looked at the replica of the strange Callistan artifact they had brought along with them.

"Maybe it isn't possible," said Seana, "but it's so." For the first time she felt a warming toward Juan with which exasperation was not intermixed. He had come through where they had not-and they owed their lives to his well developed space-instincts. "Thanks, Juan," she said simply.

He looked at her speculatively. "You know," he told her, "if you'd get rid of about nine tenths of those things you call clothes and use a little make-up like human girls I think you'd be something approaching a dish. Remind me to remind you later on."

"Perhaps, in about forty years," she told him bluntly, then fled to her bunk, wondering why in hades they had to fight all the time. He could at least have received her olive branch in kind. It was two days later, Earth time, when they landed on the big moon of Jupiter. Juan had spotted what was evidently a spaceport of some kind and, while he could detect no signals of any kind, managed to land the Theta III without any untoward incident.

After two hours of further tests they went outside together. There was little point in any of them remaining in the ship for safety. Juan was the only member of the party who could use a blaster effectively so he had to go along. And without him neither of the others could hope to pilot the Thetis 111. It was all- or nothing at all. Seana felt a sudden inner sinking at side of the strange buglike creatures that came toward them in considerable numbers. They might have been monstrous spiders on four alien legs, walking backward with their stubby antennae waving reedlike in the air.

They were, she judged, between five and six feet long and stood approximately a yard high to their antenna tips. "They don't look much like that thing in the ship," Juan told her. Seana, who found herself hugging his arm, moved quickly away, ashamed of her weakness. "Look!" cried the Professor in German. "They're dressed!"

It was an era-shattering discovery. In all those portions of the Solar System which had been thus far explored-Mars, Venus and the twilight strip of Mercury-no intelligent forms of life had been turned up. Mars had had it once, of course-but so long ago that few traces of its once-great culture remained, even for the avid archeologists. Man, was the one thinking creature. And now-here was life, strange but definitely thinking and creating artifacts that enabled it to soften its environment. Seana felt a deep thrill run through her as she studied their hosts, who came forward and stood in a semi circle around the Earth-trio.

The creatures seemed to be a sort of buff color naturally. They wore over their legs and bodies some sort of greenish-brown coverall which left their sightless rear-end heads and antennae alone unclothed. They did not seem frightened, only alert. "How can we communicate?" Seana asked Dr. Reichman. The Professor shook his shaggy head helplessly. But Juan, who had been looking at the inanimate things as well as at the creatures around them, moved to ward a long transparent amber-tinted cigar-shaped device perhaps an eighth of a mile away. A portion of the buglike beings moved along with him. He waved a salute at them and, to Seana's amazement, received a group antenna-wave in reply. He grinned and yelled at Dr. Reichman and herself that a look at their machinery might give them a clue.

However, it worked the other way around. Not until three of the creatures' apparent leaders had been admitted to the Thetas III was the intercommunications dam broken. It came about when they waved inquiring feelers at the radar equipment. Juan turned it on to demonstrate it and at once all three Earth-folk were deluged with thoughts from the Callistans.

"They're living radar machines!" cried Seana. The Callistan regarded her in perplexity and Dr. Reichman, who had said little thus far, finally put in his oar.

"You are right, Seana," he said in German. "They do not see or hear but they are sentitive to vibrations even though they cannot translate them into sound. Herr Colonel, the transmitter."

Amazingly it worked. And while there are necessary semantics of thought which caused some confusion at first, they proved not a tenth as binding as the semantics of human speech and were quickly overcome. The Callistans at once wished to know who they were."We are from the third planet- known as Earth," said Seana.

To her surprise this drew thoughts of incredulity and disbelief. "But we are!" she protested, giving their names and the name of the ship. She had a sudden inspiration, went back to the storeroom and procured the relica of the bug, showed it to them. The thoughts that followed revealed something like consternation among the Callistans. As best they could Seana and Dr. Reichman explained how they had come by it. But confusion continued to reign among their exotic hosts.

"They say," Juan managed to explain to his two companions, "that we cannot come from the third planet known as Earth to us and to them as Clard'u-or something like that. They have seen what Clard'u-folk look like and we aren't it at all."

"I like that!" snapped Seana, baffled."Tell them they don't look like that replica of ours either."

"I think," said Dr. Reichman, frowning as he concentrated, "that I begin to understand. They are telling me some thing." He lapsed into English to add,"This not exact is but of them a distortion is-no, not distortion but idealization more."

"For the love of Pete !" Juan exploded. He rose quickly and disappeared into the sleeping room next door. A moment later he was back bearing Sally Lou, who looked more offensively and aggressively a sex-image than ever.

To Seana's amazement there was immediate response from the Callistans. Shortly afterward one of their alien hosts, who had departed briefly, returned bearing a replica of Sally Lou- this one with green eyelashes. This, their hosts announced, was what the in habitants of planet three, known as Clard'u, were like. Seana looked at Juan with sympathy. "Juan . . ." she began.

"It's all right," he told her quickly."They're giving me the story now. Tacky seems to have crashed and burned -only this doll of his was thrown clear."

"Ach! Now I to understand begin," said Dr. Reichman with an excited gesture."These-Callistans the doll saw and people like that were they thought."

"Sure," said Juan. "It clears up their crash. They are walking radar machines with no knowledge OI' vision or hearing. All of their senses seem to be concentrated in those antennae of theirs. They got an idea about the doll and somehow figured where Tacky came from originally-how we can't guess yet."

"And then they built a ship to get there," said Seana in her own excited turn."Poor things! They tried to calculate Earth from a Ciro girl. I told you these dolls were unlike anything human. Look at the-the-er-lung capacity."She blushed but went on with, "To them it implied an atmosphere much less dense."

"Ja," cried the professor, again in his native tongue, "and when they thought they had reached the fiurface they were still ten miles up-and the density crushed them like flies. What a pity that they did not have a more accurate basis for their calculations. A Ciro girl ! Pah! Now in Dresden we make a type of doll-"

"That would have made them think we came from Jupiter," interposed Juan unexpectedly in excellent German. she had not revealed a knowledge of the language during the trip. Catching Seana's open-mouthed stare he winked at her, brash as ever.

Without his saying a word she understood that he had hid his knowledge of German because he found the Professor an old bore. She thought of the fat dolls of Dresden and fought to repress a giggle."Furthermore," Juan went in, suddenly serious,"we built our expedition on just as flimsy a base. Remember, by their own admission, this spider thing you people found in Denver is as far from reality as my Sally Lou. Apparently it's a sort of Callistan Ciro girl. I trust you can follow the full implications of this-"

"Shut up, Juan !" snapped Seana. "We're not utterly stupid. It means we have discovered another species which has near-human traits in spite of its difference in appearance and senses. If these creatures glorify themselves as we do it means-"

"It means crazy," said Dr. Reichman In German. "It means that they are insane. How can they glorify their species when they have but one sex. Surely you can see that."

"Narcissus," said Seana and, directing the thought at their hosts, she was warmed by their approving agreement. And then she discovered that the attentions of the Callistans were focused entirely upon her, to the exclusion of the two men. Apparently, thanks to their incredible antennae, they had discovered her to be female. As the bearer of children she seemed to them the dominant species. The men were insignificant. So frank were their thoughts that she glanced half-fearfully at Juan. "I hope you're not hurt," she said hesitantly.

"No, just terribly terribly angry," he replied with a grin that seemed to pull the heart right out of her."As a matter of fact they're right. I always prefer to go out with girls rather than men."

"Shut up!" she said half-angrily and reflected that the two words were coming to play an increasingly large role in her vocabulary. She got herself back into focus on the job at hand.

The Callistans were rather wonderful -even by their own admission. They did live largely underground-a fact which caused Dr. Reichman to feel somewhat better-and they had only recently mastered the principles of flight. They did not use metal-another feather in the Tyrolean cap of the German scientist-but relied upon a type of large and lazy domesticated animal which transformed its vegetable diet into a sort of amber fluid as Earth cows transfer theirs into milk.It could be made more or less strong by variations in the beasts' diet. Everything, from clothing to food to furniture to space ships, was made from some form of this fluid.

"Incredible !" Dr. Reichman murmured."But practical too." He expressed a desire to see some of these animals, was told he could after the welcoming banquet that evening. This, according to the thought-messages their hosts transmitted through the radar screen, was already promising to be the most notable social event in the big satellite's history.The matter of communications arose and Juan offered to move one of the spare screens and transmitters out of the ship into the banquet hall, so that the two alien species could continue to converse.

He was gone several hours and Seana found herself disturbed by his absence. That, she thought, as she wandered around the Thetis III, was the trap in the propinquity of such a close quarters space-trip as the three of them had just completed. It was a trap and a delusion. And now Juan had blithely left her to play with his radar machines. She was being unreasonable and she knew it and disliked herself for it-but she couldn't help it.

When Juan came back he was carrying a curious amber-colored parcel and something in the look he gave her caused her to regard him with wariness. He handed her the package, saying, "They've come through with a costume of honor they want you to wear at the banquet. Remember, you're the queenbee to them-so live up to it."

Seana accepted it and conveyed a message of thanks when she got back in the control room with its adjacent radar screen and transmitter. In return she received pleased thoughts from the Callistans.

Now that Juan was back she found herself almost liking them. She smiled and went back into the sleeping room to change her things. She decided she might as well go as whole-hog as the facilities aboard would permit. She allowed herself the luxury of a sponge bath and even during out the self-wave set for her hair.When it had been on the allotted ten minutes she combed it out. The effect, in the steel wall-mirror, was unexpectedly flattering. Her long tresses, glowing auburn in tint thanks to the self-wave, rolled in slow waves to the white nacre of her bare shoulders.

Then she looked at the costume the Callistans had created for her-and gasped. It simply wasn't there. Surely they didn't expect her to appear in those little bits of fabric ! She held them, one in each hand, and felt herself blush all over. Something rolled out onto the floor and she stooped to pick it up. It was a very Earthly combination powder box and lipstick. Juan, she decided, must have had it in one of his pockets and added it for good luck. She regarded it defiantly.

Then, shivering in panic, she got into the "dress." It barely covered the vital and salient portions of her hitherto well concealed but opulent figure. It was, in short, an exact copy of the tiny little scraps of cloth the Ciro girls wore. Worse, because the Callistans had no eyes and therefore no sense of color. It was the buff material that seemed to be universal on the huge satellite. It felt soft and smooth, almost like her own skin. Worse, it looked like her own skin. But she was going to have to wear it. :She gritted her teeth and pulled a long rain cape from her locker and donned it and buttoned it up. When she emerged she was pretty well covered. Juan looked at her face and shook his head, a new light in his eyes.

"Either you're wearing lipstick or I've been around you so long you're be ginning to look good," he told her. "Probably both," she snapped. She had to wait alone with the Callistans while the men went back to spruce up for the banquet.

She wondered what they were going to have to eat and drink. When Juan emerged Seana didn't even notice Dr. Reichman's one-piece dinner suit or the impressive splash of ribbons and decorations across his massive breast. She had eyes only for Juan. It was the first time she had seen him in his full-dress blues. His startlingly blond hair gleamed golden in the soft light of Callisto at eventide and the silver brocade of his insignia on collar, shoulder and cuff gave him the decorative romance of a Napoleonic hussar. She thought he was too handsome and didn't care.

They were taken through a vast gate way in the side of a low hill. Since the Callistans had no eyes they lived with out light-but Juan had managed to rig up an impromptu electric system for the occasion. Dr. Reichman complimented him on it. "Those antennae of theirs may be handy," he told the German scientist, "but sometimes you need eyes. They'd never have crashed on Earth if they'd been able to see. They were tuned for a certain atmospheric density and when they reached it they stopped-and went in but good."

They passed through a long subterranean avenue lined with orderly Callistans, whose antennae waved like reeds in the wind as the Earth-folk went by. Finally they reached a long domed hall in which long amber strips, a foot above the floor served as tables. In niches along the wall were heroic distortions of Callistans-styled like that which had survived their crash-and at the end of the big chamber, in a special niche, stood a huge reproduction of a Ciro girl. Seana was ushered to a spot just beneath it.

"Take off that Mother Hubbard" Juan whispered.

"I-I can't," the girl replied, blushing.

"You've got to-don't tell me the costume they made you is that bad," Juan insisted. "Forget your vanity and show it."

"But they can't see," Seana protested vigorously.

"Maybe they can't but they can read any shape within half a kilometer with those antennae of theirs-and read it more accurately than we can see it," Dr. Reichman told her sternly. "I don't want them reading mine," wailed the girl but she knew she was defeated. Feeling herself on the brink on everlasting disgrace she slowly unzipped the rain cape.

Impatiently Dr. Reichman took over, almost peeled it from her. "Saints alive!" cried Juan, jumping as though someone had stuck a pin in him. "It can't be!"

A waving of antennae throughout the room denoted the approval of their hosts and the three Earthlings sat down at the low tables. Juan gave vent to some thing that sounded like a long low whistle. It was a long low whistle. Leaning toward her he whispered, "I thought you said that no woman ever looked like that." He jerked his head to ward the immense Ciro girl in the niche above them.

"I'm a distortion," said Seana in anguish. "How could I have hoped to have a career unless I kept it hidden ?"

"You're the kind of distortion men have been dreaming about for thousands of years," Juan told her. Then, thoughtfully, "It depends on the sort of career you want."

"Have you anything in mind?" she asked him with a brazenness that would have shocked her five minutes earlier.

"Oh-several," he told her. "You can take your pick."

"Skin and bones," Dr. Reichman muttered in German as he prodded the strange food which appeared through a trap door in the table in front of him. "Skin and bones. Now in Dresden . . ."