The Hunted Heroes
I found myself fervently wishing I was back out there on the infinitely safer desert.
"Do I shock you?" he asked. "I shouldn't--not when you see my motives."
"We don't see them," I snapped.
"Well, let me show you. You're on Mars hunting uranium, right? To mine and ship the radioactives back to Earth to keep the atomic engines going. Right?"
I nodded over at our geiger counters.
"We volunteered to come to Mars," Val said irrelevantly.
"Ah--two young heroes," Ledman said acidly. "How sad. I could almost feel sorry for you. Almost."
"Just what is it you're after?" I said, stalling, stalling.
"Atomics cost me my legs," he said. "You remember the Sadlerville Blast?" he asked.
"Of course." And I did, too. I'd never forget it. No one would. How could I forget that great accident--killing hundreds, injuring thousands more, sterilizing forty miles of Mississippi land--when the Sad