Re: A holy quarrel, perhpas?
Thumbs up for remembering that gem of utter psychosis and paranoia.
Sweat made Stafford’s forehead slick with moisture. “Do you know what would cause a Genux-B to conclude that we’re under attack? A million separate factors, all possible known data weighed, compared, analyzed—and then the absolute gestalt. In this case, the gestalt of an imminent attacking enemy. No one thing would have raised the threshold; it was quantitative. A shelter-building program in Asiatic Russia, unusual movements of cargo ships around Cuba, concentrations of rocket freight unloadings in Red Canada…”
“No one,” the man at the controls of the flapple said placidly, “no nation or group of persons either on Terra or Luna or Domed Mars is attacking anybody. You can see why we’ve got to get you over there fast. You have to make it absolutely certain that no orders emanate from Genux-B to SAC. We want Genux-B sealed off so it can’t talk to anybody in a position of authority and it can’t hear anybody besides us. What we do after that we’ll worry about then. ‘But the evil of the day—’ ”
“You assert that in spite of everything available to it, Genux-B can’t distinguish an attack on us?” Stafford demanded. “With its manifold data-collecting sweepers?” He thought of something then, that terrified him in a kind of hopeless, retrospective way. “What about our attack on France in ‘82 and then on little Israel in ‘89?”
“No one was attacking us then either,” the man nearest Stafford said, as he retrieved the tape and again placed it within his briefcase. His voice, somber and morose, was the only sound; no one else stirred or spoke. “Same then as now. Only this time a group of us stopped Genux-B before it could commit us. We pray we’ve aborted a pointless, needless war.”