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The Peacemaker
written by "Martin, Bob"
...d, not waiting to watch her crash down onto the rocky face of Hyperion. And now the five of the Compact were only three, and again there was the sound of weeping among our women. Two months after that engagement, a single assault-boat returned to Base. It was the lone survivor of the Lady's landing party. By some miracle, the three men aboard had escaped the holocaust. They had landed and been captured and then they had fought their way free and into the void once more. They were half-dead from starvation and exposure, but they had brought word to Merril that the wall that had so long protected us was crumbling. Merril sought me out, his lean hard face grim and set. "There was a Russian among the Americans on Hyperion," he said. "A prisoner?" It was my hope that spoke so, not my sure knowledge of what was to come. Merril shook his head slowly. "A technician. They developed the beam that killed the Argonaut and the Lady—together." His voice was harsh and bleak. Then suddenly he laughed. "We've touched them," he said, "Touched them on their tender spot—their purses." He bowed low, filled with bitter mockery. "Behold the diplomats, the men who are accomplishing the impossible!" And I knew that his words spelt doom. Doom for the Compact and for the Wall Decade that was our life. Yet we did not stint. In that year we raided Dione, Io, Ganymede, and even the American naval Base on Callisto. We gutted six Russian and four American rockets filled with treasure. And we ventured sunward as far as the moons of Mars. We dared battles with patrol ships and won. We killed the destroyer Alexei Tolstoi off Europa and we shattered an American monitor over Syrtis itself, and watched the wreckage rain down on Yakki, the place where the Compact was born. And we lost the Moonmaid. The radio told us the story. Other new weapons were being developed against us, and here and there America...

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