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Sight Gag
written by "Schoenherr, John, 1935-2010"
...all. Grinning wildly, Fredericks whipped off the blindfold and switched off his shield in one triumphant motion. There, on the floor— There, on the floor, was a nice gray rug with nobody at all lying dead on top of it. In the half-second it took Fredericks to see that, the Psi Operative moved. Fredericks tossed the empty gun at him and missed; the man was coming too fast. He guarded his face but the Psi Operative didn't go for the face. Instead his hands went swinging up and out and back. The sides of the palms landed neatly on the twin junctions of Fredericks' arms and shoulders. Fredericks let out a shriek as his arms turned to acutely painful stone, and the Psi Operative stepped back and moved again in one blinding motion. This time the solar plexus was the target for one balled fist. And then, of course, it was all over. f course it was simple," Donegan said. "Anyone could have thought of it—and I knew you would." "All the same," the Psi Operative said, "I nearly didn't." Donegan nodded. "If you hadn't," he said, "we'd stationed a man downstairs who'd memorized your room. He could have done the job, too." The Operative blinked. "Who?" he said. "Desk clerk," Donegan said. "Why didn't you tell me—" "Now, use your head," Donegan said. "If you'd known you were all right, you'd never have thought of the answer. You had to prove you could do it—prove it to yourself as well as to me." "But—" "And you had to prove you could beat him on his grounds, too, as well as yours," Donegan went on. "You had to take him, not only with psi forces, but with the only weapons a Psi Operative is allowed to carry." "Fists," the Operative said. "Sure Judo and Karate are standard subjects—every Operative has to know them. What's so tough about that?" "Nothing," Donegan said. "Nothing at all—except for Fredericks. He's been beaten on your ground, and on his own. Now he knows he's...

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