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Short Stories: The Girl and the Gun

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Introduction

Short Stories: The Girl and the Gun The girl still stood, aiming the weapon at his heart. Tears ran down her face, but the gun did not waver. "It was the voice," Bailey said. "You and I were . . . linked. We . . . touched him, were him. He's the one who made me live, sent me here. Who was he? What was he?" "He's a man, William. A dying man, a hundred years in the future. In some way that perhaps not even he understands, he projected his mind back along his own life line-to us." "A mind-reaching back through time?" Bailey asked. "I think he meant only to reach one man, to explain the terrible thing that had happened, to enlist your help to do what he believed had to be done to right the wrong. But his brain was too powerful, too complex. An ordinary mind couldn't encompass it. I was near-on the Intermix, ready to jump. A part of his message spilled over-into my mind. ...read more.

Middle

"Can you know the future? In some miraculous way, were you sent here to save me from this terrible decision? Can we trust them? Are they what they say?" "They come as friends," Aliea said softly. Drans stood. "I believe you," he said. "Because the alternative is too bitter to contemplate." He stepped forward, gently thrust the girl aside. "Do your duty," he said flatly to Bailey. "William-no!" Aliea said swiftly. "You know now, don't you? You see?" Bailey looked at the defenseless man before him. He lowered the gun, nodded. "The voice-the dying man, a hundred years from now. It was-is-will be you: Micael Drans. You sent me back to kill yourself before you gave the death order." "Only a very good man would have done that, William," Aliea said. "Micael Drans is one of the few good men alive in these vicious times. He has to live-to meet the ship, welcome the aliens to our world!" "Will you do it?" Bailey asked. "Why-yes. Yes, of course!" ...read more.

Conclusion

Bailey frowned at her. "I was like a man in a dream, all those weeks. That complex plan, the twisting and turning, the bluffs and the chances I took-" "Don't you see? He couldn't have planned it all. He had no way of knowing what would happen, how you should meet what came. It was you, William. Once fear is gone, all things are possible." "Aliea's right," Micael Drans said. He came around the desk to stand beside them. "There's no way for me to thank you. But in eighteen hours, the Evala ship will take up its orbit beyond Luna-peacefully. There will be much to be done. I'll need help. Will you stay, accept positions on my personal staff?" "Of course," Aliea said. "If you really think-if I can be of any use . . ." Bailey said. He felt Aliea's hand touch his-felt the touch of her mind, delicate as a blown feather. Together, we'll do it, William. "Yes," he said. "I'll stay." We must tell him, Aliea's thought spoke in his mind. Bailey closed his eyes; together they reached out across the void, found him, waiting there in darkness. Together, they waited for the sound of a new thunder in the skies of Earth. ...read more.

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