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Inhaltsangabe: Excerpt: ...a ritual question, MacMaine decided; they must know why he was there. "I bring him as a candidate for admission to our Ingroup," Tallis replied formally, "and ask the indulgence of Your Superiorities therefor." "And who are you who ask our indulgence?" Tallis identified himself at length--name, rank, serial number, military record, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. By the time he had finished, MacMaine was beginning to think that the recitation would go on forever. The High Commander had closed his eyes, and he looked as if he had gone to sleep. There was more formality. Through it all, MacMaine stood at rigid attention, flexing his calf muscles occasionally to keep the blood flowing in his legs. He had no desire to disgrace himself by passing out in front of the Court. Finally the Kerothi officer stopped asking Tallis questions and looked at the High Commander. MacMaine got the feeling that there was about to be a departure from the usual procedure. Without opening his eyes, the High Commander said, in a brittle, rather harsh voice, "These circumstances are unprecedented." Then he opened his eyes and looked directly at MacMaine. "Never has an animal been proposed for such an honor. In times past, such a proposal would have been mockery of this Court and this Ingroup, and a crime of such monstrous proportions as to merit Excommunication." MacMaine knew what that meant. The word was used literally; the condemned one was cut off from all communication by having his sensory nerves surgically severed. Madness followed quickly; psychosomatic death followed eventually, as the brain, cut off from any outside stimuli except those which could not be eliminated without death following instantly, finally became incapable of keeping the body alive. Without feedback, control was impossible, and the organism-as-a-whole slowly deteriorated until death was inevitable. At first, the victim screamed and thrashed his limbs as...
Inhaltsangabe: "The Highest Treason" is a Sci-Fi novelette featuring military treason. Similar in some ways to Ayn Rand's "Anthem," an intelligent man is stuck in a society where everyone is forced to be equal, and, in a society where equality is the highest social priority, interstellar war has significant impacts. "The Highest Treason" is sure to keep listeners on the edge of their seats.
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