--And Devious the Line of Duty
A frozen silence followed the last five words. Hunter thought, So that's what the little weasel was fishing for....
Rockford quietly laid down his fork. Val's face turned grim. Lyla looked up in quick alarm and said to Narf:
"Don't misunderstand me, gentlemen," Narf's loud voice went on. "I believe the commander of the Terran cruiser wouldn't have ordered it to fire upon the Verdam cruiser over a neutral world such as New Jardeen if he had been his rational self. Cold-war battle nerves. So he shot down the Verdam cruiser and its nuclear converters exploded when it fell in the center of Colony City. Force of a hydrogen bomb--forty thousand innocent people gone in a microsecond. Not the commander's fault, really--fault of the military system that failed to screen out its unstable officers."
"Yes, your lordship. But is it possible"--Sonig spoke very thoughtfully--"for a political power, which is of such a nature that i