By John W. Campbell
Edited through John W. Campbell, Jr. Seven amazing technological know-how fiction tales by means of such authors as Eric Frank Russell, Murray Leinster, Theodore Sturgeon, and more...
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The lights came on, went off again. And abruptly the cube of the stereo screen was dark. The achron-integrators clattered and stopped. The guns ceased to thud. " Brek gasped into a telephone. "Give me power! Emergency! The autosight has stopped and--" But the telephone was dead. There were no more hits. Smothered in darkness, the great room remained very silent. After an etemal time, feeble emergency lights came on. Brek looked again at his chronometer, and knew that the battle was ended. But who the victor?
Pete made an agonized sound that was not a word at all, bent, lifted, and sent the console crashing over. " He waited. ” His eyes went wide then, and he cursed and bolted for the corridor. The panel was closed when he reached it. He kicked at it. It flew open, discovering darkness. " bellowed Sonny. "Shut it! " Pete shut it behind them. The lights blazed. "Pete! " "Nothing's the matter, Son," croaked Pete. " said Sonny uneasily. "I'm sorry," said Pete as gently as he could. "I just wanted to find something out, is all.
Gunfire cracked sporadically far to the right, swept nearer. Pete stepped out to the street and made for a parked truck. There was a Wac sitting on the short running-board. At the corner a stocky figure backed into the intersection. The man carried a tommy-gun in his arms, and he was swinging to and fro with the gentle, wavering motion of a weathervane. He staggered toward them, his gun-muzzle hunting. Someone fired from a building and the man swiveled and blasted wildly at the sound. "He's—blind," said Pete Mawser, and added, "he ought to be," looking at the tattered face.