Where the crested invaders came from no man could say--but they threatened to bring destruction to the three civilized planets!
Seeking a vacation, Interplanetary Guard Jack Sanders runs into romance and a space war!
a frown. "Well, you can say it just as well out here. There are four pairs of ears in there, you know."
I dropped my hand from my lapel, and the flash of the badge caught his eye. His face went nearly purple at the sight.
"By the Planets!" he exploded. "This is intolerable! No man's command is his own these days."
"Steady," I hushed him. "It's not as bad as that. I've no wish to supersede you. What I want is cooperation. I'll tell you why."
He cooled down at that and I gave him the gist of my communicator message. "I don't like it," he said at the end. "There may be nothing in it--on the other hand there may be a lot. What am I to do?"
"What I'd like you to do, if you don't mind;" I said mildly, "is this. Call me the moment you sight or find your instruments recording anything out of the ordinary. I'd like a chat with any other space-ship we pass. And, of course, if we meet a Guards Patrol..."
"May the Guards fuse!" he snapped. "No, I didn't mean that, Jack. But no s
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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