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World Without War   By:

World Without War by E. G. von Wald

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Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from If Worlds of Science Fiction September 1954. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

World Without War


Illustrated by Ed Emsh

Cooperation was all right back in the dark ages but this was an era of super culture and hi psi intelligence. And love was no laughing matter. People who cooperated, even biologically, were unlawful and....

Mark knew he shouldn't stop. He was already late for Jennette's birthday party, but the sight of three people out in the open like this was too much.

He pulled around and hovered over the undulating flow of glassy magma, frozen on its way to the long, dry Potomac river bed, with its shallow caverns and fascinating mile wide potholes. Just under an overhanging cliff of half vitrified soil were two cars, obviously damaged. The three men were standing beside them.

Mark laughed out loud. It was not often that one found three people at once. And so close to each other. The scene there, with the long, slanting rays of milky sunlight glancing off the ribbing of the flats and sparkling through the million brittle shards of collapsed debris, filled him with a certain poetic exultation.

"By the stars," he murmured to himself happily.

Bubbling with good humor, he slipped down a little closer to the hole, staying up hard against the overhanging cliff. He was feeling too cheerful to use his rightful advantage over them, and decided to use a handgun, since they had nothing better.

This was a mistake, of course. He was only moving along at a hundred miles an hour now. Too slow for safe shooting, particularly with the bumpy air in the hole. But he happily disregarded this, as he pushed open a view port and blazed away with a zuzz pistol.

Almost immediately the ship lurched in the uneven air, and he could see the tiny thin trace of violet as it swept up and away off the targets. One of the men went down, sliced cleanly in two. But the others had seen him.

Mark cursed mildly, some of his high good humor gone, and pulled the car about for another run. The chronometer pinged warningly at him, notifying him that he was now a full hour late for Jennette's birthday party, but the code required the second try.

There was nothing that required handweapons for this, however, and he slipped his strong young hands around the main gun control. A single burst of violet, and one of the men vanished in a puff of steam. Good and clean, he told himself with satisfaction. But the last man opened his pistol onto broad beam, burning a red flare of general destruction at him.

Mark veered around and bore down sharply for the last burst. He had to get it over with and on to Jennette. But the deadly broad beam swept below the car, evacuating the air and throwing the vehicle momentarily out of control. Close behind, the cliff became suddenly alive as the beam engaged it, bubbling and spewing out huge gouts of molten rock. The aircar burst into a brief, brilliant, sodium colored fire and fell, with Mark burning inside of it, yelling and screaming in pain.


It took almost five seconds before the charred brain of Mark's body stopped functioning. Then it released him.

He was conscious of the humming of his transmitter. Almost immediately the remembered pain brought perspiration running down inside the helmet into his eyes. He reached up and removed the headpiece with unsteady hands, groaning softly.

It had been some decades since he had last been involved in trouble like this. Killed, yes but in a painless, fair fight. Being burned to death was no joke. And that body had been one of his best, with the finest reflex sensory system manufactured... Continue reading book >>

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