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The Next Logical Step
written by "Schelling, George Luther, 1938-"
...ee where this problem has anything to do with me," the CIA man said. "And, frankly, there are a lot of more important things I could be doing." Ford, the physicist, glanced at General LeRoy. The general had that quizzical expression on his face, the look that meant he was about to do something decisive. "Would you like to see the problem first-hand?" the general asked, innocently. The CIA man took a quick look at his wristwatch. "O.K., if it doesn't take too long. It's late enough already." "It won't take very long, will it, Ford?" the general said, getting out of his chair. "Not very long," Ford agreed. "Only a lifetime." The CIA man grunted as they went to the doorway and left the general's office. Going down the dark, deserted hallway, their footsteps echoed hollowly. "I can't overemphasize the seriousness of the problem," General LeRoy said to the CIA man. "Eight ranking members of the General Staff have either resigned their commissions or gone straight to the violent ward after just one session with the computer." The CIA man scowled. "Is this area Secure?" General LeRoy's face turned red. "This entire building is as Secure as any edifice in the Free World, mister. And it's empty. We're the only living people inside here at this hour. I'm not taking any chances." "Just want to be sure." "Perhaps if I explain the computer a little more," Ford said, changing the subject, "you'll know what to expect." "Good idea," said the man from CIA. "We told you that this is the most modern, most complex and delicate computer in the world ... nothing like it has ever been attempted before—anywhere." "I know that They don't have anything like it," the CIA man agreed. "And you also know, I suppose, that it was built to simulate actual war situations. We fight wars in this computer ... wars with missiles and bombs and gas. Real wars, complete down to the tiniest detail. The computer ...

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