The Earthman

He felt the subtle pulsing of fear, the crushing loneliness of a stranger on an alien world. He fingered the barrel of a dispersal ray, but the weapon gave him no sense of security. He had a terrible sensation of psychological nakedness. The weapons could drive off bandits, but what protection did Tchassen have against the unknown elements of a savage world? We've failed; we have no right to be here: the words lashed at his mind like an insinuating poison. He could feel sweat on his face and chest, sweat turning cold in the icy wind.

Now the sedan entered a decaying village nestled close to the mountains. It was in an amazingly good state of repair—undoubtedly because it was located so far from the coastal cities that it had escaped destruction during the invasion. Then, too, the village was too close to the Nevada compound for the Earth people to have looted it. Tchassen tapped on Drein's shoulder and ordered him to stop the sedan.

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