Lazarus Come Forth (Bradbury)

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Lazarus Come Forth
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man working on a morgue ship found and revived a 300-year-old scientist with a potential weapon to end a war, but his greedy assistant tried to sell the scientist to the enemy.

In a Morgue Ship, two men, Brandon and Logan, were responsible for retrieving bodies from space battles. One day, they found a perfectly preserved body of a 51 Circle Scientist from 300 years ago.

Brandon — narrator; tall, thin, and gaunt; searching for his lost son; determined, compassionate.
Logan — assistant coroner; short, greedy, and manipulative; eager for personal gain.
Lazarus (The Scientist) — 300-year-old scientist from the 51 Circle; key to a potential weapon; calm and preserved.

Brandon believed that the Scientist held the key to a powerful weapon that could end the war between Earth and Mars. He managed to revive the Scientist, whom he called Lazarus, and planned to bring him back to Earth.

Lazarus come forth, Brandon said softly, bending close, adjusting the manipulatory tendrils. Lazarus, come forth.

However, Logan had other plans. He contacted the Martians and made a deal to hand over Lazarus in exchange for a large amount of radium.

I've just picked up the body of a 51 Circle Scientist. He's been resuscitated. Give me your fleet commander. I got things to talk over with him.

He also planned to rig the emergency lifeboat with explosives, so that he could destroy Lazarus and the weapon if the Martians tried to double-cross him.

Brandon tried to stop Logan, but was overpowered and left bound in the ship. He managed to free himself and set a course back to Earth, hoping to save Lazarus. As the Martians intercepted the emergency lifeboat, they brought Lazarus into their ship and tried to extract information about the weapon from him.

Lazarus, now fully conscious, asked for the time and upon hearing it, expressed relief that "he" was safe. He then revealed that his name was Brandon, implying that he had somehow switched places with the real Lazarus.

My name is Brandon. Then, Lazarus laughed.

He laughed, knowing that the real Lazarus was now safely on his way back to Earth.