By Hal Clement
A manhunt inside a guy. The hunter from space's depths selected Robert Kinncaid as his "host" and invaded his physique, managed his ideas, and commenced the quest. The Quarry was once lurking in one other person someplace. It was once like looking for a needle in a haystack- a needle that carried loss of life and destruction.
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Extra resources for Needle (also published as From Outer Space )
He did not stay long, but she did not expect that; she simply listened happily to his almost endless talk as he unloaded the jeep, dragged the luggage up to his room, changed out of his traveling clothes, found his bicycle and loaded it into the car, and departed. She was fond of her son and would have liked to see more of him, but she knew that he would not enjoy sitting around talking to her for any length of time; and she was wise enough not to regret the fact particularly. As a matter of fact, if he had gone so much out of character as to do some such thing she would have been worried; as it was, the load that the school communication had put on her mind was partly lifted as she watched and listened.
His "cabin" was a small room in the sterncastle containing a bunk and his pile of luggage -- the ship was definitely not designed for passengers. After some search Bob found a piece of paper large enough for his purpose, and, spreading this out on a suitcase, he began to draw, explaining as he went. The island, as it took shape under the boy's pencil, was shaped rather like a capital L, with the harbor formed by the interior angle facing north. The reef that surrounded it was more nearly circular, so that the enclosed lagoon was very broad on the north side.
Bob was indicating the west side of this point. "This," he said, "is the only real sea beach on the island. It's the only part of the shore not protected by the reef. You see south of the tip there's a few hundred yards before the reef starts again and keeps the breakers from the whole south shore. It's the place the fellows and I like best, and it's where we were swimming the day you arrived. " The Hunter took up the conversation. "Up until shortly before we reached the earth's atmosphere I was tracking him on automatic control, so that I was within a few feet of his line of flight When I realized how close we were to the planet I went on manual and tried to drive straight away, but it was along the same line.