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First part of the adaptation of Larry Niven's novella The Defenseless Dead, starring ARM investigator Gil Hamilton.

In the early 22nd century on an overcrowded Earth the Amalgamated Regional Militia have three main functions: they suppress any dangerous new technolgies, hunt down women having illegal pregnancies ("mother hunts") and try to stop organ legging, the kidnapping of people to surgically murder them for organ transplants. Gil Hamilton is one of ARM's top agents, knicknamed "the Arm" not only because of who he works for, but also because he possesses a telekinetic third arm, an ability he developed after losing his original right arm while asteroid mining; after several months his mind compensated by replacing the lost limb with an imaginery, telekinetic duplicate, and even after a transplant replaced the missing limb, the telekinetic one remained.

During the 21st century, many people had arranged to be cryogenically frozen, either suffering from medical ailments untreatable in their own time and hoping that cures would eventually be discovered, or else simply wishing to be woken in a future they hoped would be more exciting than their present. However, in Gil's time, in an attempt to reduce the organ legging black market, the UN passed the first Freezer Law, declaring any of these "corpsicles" who had insufficient funds in their accounts to be legally dead, allowing them to be harvested for transplants. For a time the bill succeeded, driving many organ leggers off the market, but as supplies again dwindled, the organ leggers began to return, and the UN began debating a second Freezer Bill, aimed at declaring the remaining corpsicles, those who have money, legally dead. This draws attention to the "Corpsicle Heirs", who are liable to become extremely rich, making them prime kidnapping candidates, and Gil becomes involved in protecting one heiress from an organ legger who apparently retired when the first bill was passed.

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