The highest treason of all is not so easy to define--and be it noted carefully that the true traitor in this case was not singular, but very plural...
hat your survival has depended on your learning our language?"
The general's orange face contrived a wry smile. "Opfiously. Your people fill not learn Kerothic. If I cannot answerr questionss, I am uff no use. Ass lonk ass I am uff use, I will liff. Not?"
MacMaine decided he might as well spring his bomb on the Kerothi officer now as later. "I am not so certain but that you might have stretched out your time longer if you had forced us to learn Kerothic, general," he said in Kerothic. He knew his Kerothic was bad, since it had been learned from the Kerothi spaceman who had been captured with the general, and the man had been badly wounded and had survived only two weeks. But that little bit of basic instruction, plus the work he had done on the books and tapes from the ruined Kerothi ship, had helped him.
"Ah?" The general blinked in surprise. Then he smiled. "Your accent," he said in Kerothic, "is atrocious, but certainly no worse than mine when I speak your Inklitch. I suppose
In the future, forced equality of all human beings has become the highest social priority. The impact of interstellar war on this society makes for an interesting read.
I read this immediately after Ayn Rand's Anthem. The theme is identical--an intelligent man stuck in a society where everyone is forced to be equal, but this is a much, much better story. It kept me guessing up until the end. Interesting in that there seem to be no actual bad guys.
Well done short story about interstellar war, the stagnation of human kind, and the effort of a man to break out of that stagnated society by joining Earth's enemy. Well written and thought out.
Fine military SF novelette with a treason scenario. Certainly one of the better stories from Garrett.