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A certain Mr. Smithers calls one evening at the flat of Mrs. Anna Preston to collect some things belonging to her ex-husband.  George Preston works at a Space Research Station and Mr. Smithers, who claims to run a wholesale stationary business, seems a very incongruous sort of companion for George.  Anna, puzzled, tried to contact George at the Station, but without success.  Something appears to be wrong.  The mystery deepens when she bumps into Smithers in the street and he denies that he ever came to her flat.

(Even the police refuse to help her.  Her suspicions are seriously aroused when she receives a post card from Edinburgh ostensibly from George, but obviously forged.  By now Anna is desperate.  Mr. Smithers appears for the second time.  Apologising for the Oxford Street encounter, he offers to lead her to George.

At the Station, George's colleagues tell her to prepare for a shock.  George has offered himself as guinea-pig in an experiment by which the human body has been modified to facilitate space travel.  He is no longer human, but a mixture of man and machine.  When at last she sees him, she cries out that she still loves him, and accuses them of murder.  Contrary to what the scientists believe, George is still capable of emotional response, and late that night he breaks out of the laboratory and returns to Anna's flat.  Torn between pity and revulsion Anna cannot bear to touch him.  In despair he destroys himself.)

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