Astounding Tales of Space and Time by John W. Campbell

By John W. Campbell

Edited by means of John W. Campbell, Jr. Seven amazing technology fiction tales by way of such authors as Eric Frank Russell, Murray Leinster, Theodore Sturgeon, and more...

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We got it from both sides. We got too much. The air is becoming radioactive. We'll all—" He checked himself. She didn't know. She'd forgotten. There was nowhere to escape to, and she'd escaped inside herself, right here. Why tell her about it? Why tell her that everyone was going to die? Why tell her that other, shameful thing: that we hadn't struck back? But she wasn't listening. She was still looking at him. Her eyes were not quite straight. One held his, but the other was slightly shifted and seemed to be looking at his temple.

She never moved for seconds after she came on; she was there, a portrait, a still face and a white throat. Her eyes were open and sleeping. Her face was alive and still. Then, in the eyes which seemed green but were blue flecked with gold, an awareness seemed to gather, and they came awake. Only then was it noticeable that her lips were parted. Something in the eyes made the lips be seen, though nothing moved yet. Not until she bent her bead slowly, so that some of the gold flecks seemed captured in the golden brows.

There's a timing mechanism in them that will disarm them in a year or so. " "I think I see. " "About six hundred and forty; a "few more or less. At least five hundred and thirty have been thrown so far. " he asked furiously. "Who? " She laughed weakly. "I could say, 'The Government,' perhaps. If the President dies, the Vice-President takes over, and then the Secretary of State, and so on and on. How far can you go? " "I don't know. " He leaped to his feet. " The syllable roared away from him, hurled itself against the dark, empty buildings, came back to him in a series of lower-case echoes: nononono.

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