It may be that there is a weapon that, from theviewpoint of the one it's used on, is worse thanlethal. You might say that death multiplies you byzero; what would multiplication by minus one do?
we anticipated the Markovian objection and had to make certain you would co-operate to his satisfaction. I believe this will do it."
"Why is the Council concerned?" said Cameron. "Have the Markovians changed their attitude in any way?"
"No--but the rest of us remember, even though we don't speak of it, that the Nucleus was never punished for its depredations, nor was it ever defeated. Its strength is as great as ever in proportion to the other Council worlds.
"What are the chances and potentialities of the Nucleus worlds ever again becoming the marauders they once were? That is the question which we feel must be answered. Without knowing, we are sitting on a powder keg in which the fuse may or may not be lighted. Will you bring us back the answer we need?"
Cameron felt a sudden grimness which had not been present before. "I'll do all I can," he said soberly. "If the information is there I'll bring it back."
* * * * *
After the secretary had gone and Fothergill turned
Fairly interesting story of a sociology grad student researching his thesis on why a group of predacious worlds suddenly turned civilized.
There isn't a lot of character development, the guy's wife seems mostly there to act as a ventriloquist's dummy for him to talk to, but the ideas are interesting.
Cameron and his fiance are waiting for him to finish his studies in sociology to get married. A great opportunity comes up; He can travel to the Marcovian Nucleus to study their strange evolution from a Piratical dangerous society to a passive one which now gets along with everyone. The transition is puzzling and the Markovians don't like to talk about it. Finding out whats going on should insure his future in academic circles.
So he marries his fiance and takes off for the Nucleus to find the Markovians are still not talking, and have re-written their history to delete their piratical past.
What is going on? Finding out how a transition of this type has taken place may be groundbreaking to the study of societal evolution.
To find out he links up with a strange servant cult called the "ID" who have joined Markovian society.
Just what does it take to tame a wolf. Time? Attention to the cubs?
Love? Patience? Find out in this interesting story.