"We have watched your plants for millennia." The creature that spoke was barely three feet tall, with wrinkled gray skin and monstrous eyes... "Yours is a war of children. Only children would slaughter each other out of ignorance and fear. Only children would fail again and again to learn the lessons of their foolishness." It was true. The underground people of Earth were united in terror and desperation against what they considered a frightful threat from the skies. They had sent a mighty armada into space, rushing in lethal orbit toward Mars. The Spacers - still really Earthmen themselves - were poised for the counter-blow. The great fleet at Asteroid Central had sufficient warheads to reduce earth to a cinder. "But we also know the greatness of your spirit, the precious spark which we cannont allow you to extinguish." Now Ben Trefon understood that in the Black Belt of Power bequeathed to him by his father rested the final hope of the human race!
by Alan E. Nourse
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