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"What television does is rent us friends and relatives who are quite satisfactory. This is quite something, to rent artificial friends and relatives right inside the house."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Drop-Capsule  
  Minimal spaceship.  

At a distance of one million kilometers he matched velocities with the alien satellite and put his ship in a parking orbit around it. He entered his drop-capsule. He ejected himself and slid from his ship into darkness.

Now the alien seized him. There was no doubt. The drop-capsule was programmed for a minimum-expenditure orbit that would bring it skimming past the alien in due time, but Muller swiftly discovered that he was deviating from that orbit. Deviations are never accidental. His capsule was accelerating beyond the program, which meant that it had been grasped and was being drawn forward. He accepted that. He was icily calm, expecting nothing and prepared for everything. The drop-capsule eased down. He saw the gleaming bulk of the alien satellite now.

Skin to metal skin, the vehicles met and touched and joined.

From The Man in the Maze, by Robert Silverberg.
Published by Avon Books in 1969
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