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The Talent Scouts
by Peter McMillan

"Looks like we've got a good one here, Andromeda."

"Yes, Centaurus. I think this may be the one."

"Did you see the drawings he made for his new house? Three hours is all it took. Nice Frank Lloyd Wright details. And it seems to fit perfectly."

"Can't understand how anyone could stand living all boxed in like that, but he's got talent. No doubt about it, though I think he could work on his mind and motor coordination. He seems to spend far too much time either thinking or drawing instead of doing both at the same time. Can't understand that."

"Don't be so critical, my dear. His composition last night ... you enjoyed that."

"Yes, I did, but you have to admit, darling, it was little derivative of Holst."

"Perhaps, but he's the first we've had whose skills go beyond a single niche. He can design houses, write symphonies, and last week while I accompanied him on the surface, he impressed me with his Nietzschean comedy, not just repartee, but full-length monologues from Zarathustra. So much passion. It was hilarious."

"I think today I want to test his motivational and training skills ... see if he can do something with the others we've accumulated over time."

"Just remember that he's the most all-around talented human we've had so far. And also we have to abide by the first directive to do no harm even if it's he who carries out our agenda."

"Of course darling. I know that. After all, we're NOT humans!”

“True enough, my lovely, but do keep in mind that they carefully follow everything they see us do.”

“Absolutely! I know our place … and theirs, and I would never ever think of harming or causing harm to come to one of our little pets."