“My God!” he yelled. “What’s happening now?” Stevens stared. Then he started abruptly to his feet. Even afterwards, when he looked back on the incident, he could never actually decide what really happened. He had a persistent, oddly unshakable memory of a man flowing suddenly into liquid.
Inside the blue and gray uniform of the Interstellar Passenger Service, the man began to melt, to change into a thick gooey substance that dripped and trickled away between the rising pillars of steel. Desperately, he fought down the rising sense of nausea that tugged at the muscles of his stomach. The picture was so utterly impossible that he screwed his eyes tightly to shut it out of his mind. When he looked again, there was nothing there and Blair was looking across at him, his jaw slack and an expression of stark disbelief in his dark eyes.