The Earthman

before they ordered the invasion. War, to the civilized galaxy, was unthinkable; yet the government had no alternative. For, with even their primitive form of atomic power, the Earth people could blow their world to dust. The planet had to be occupied to save the natives from the consequences of their own folly.

But what does it matter, Tchassen thought bitterly, if our intentions were noble and unselfish? It's what Earth thinks we meant to do that counts. And by that standard we've failed. We have no right to be here.

Alone in the cold darkness of the abandoned restaurant, Tchassen faced the fear gnawing at his soul. The drug he had taken warped his depression into a crushing weight of melancholy. The occupation of the Earth had gone wrong—or so it seemed to him—because the council of scientists misjudged the native mentality. True, these people had created a brilliant technology, but it didn't follow that they would

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