[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

than any other Weave race. We have accepted this role because there are none
who can replace us. The Wais, for example, and he indicated the translator
standing silently nearby,  are incapable of combat, as are the O o yan and the
Yula and the Bir rimor.
The Hivistahm and the S van can fight a little. The Turlog might but choose
not to, and there are not enough of them to make a difference anyway.
 Besides the Massood only the Chirinaldo are considered true fighters, and
because of their physical stature they are not truly effective in the
close-quarter combat that is so important.
 Wait a minute. Will sat up straight.  I wouldn t think that in a conflict
spanning millennia and whole areas of space there d be much in the way of
hand-to-hand fighting.
 War is an extreme form of debate. Caldaq hoped that his translator was
conveying these concepts correctly.  If you kill someone they cannot join with
you.
 In this regard the Amplitur are even more restrained than the Weave. If they
were to stand off a world and render its surface sterile, they would have
defeated an enemy but sacrificed potential converts to their
Purpose. They avoid wholesale loss of life whenever they can, though they have
made at least two exceptions that I know of. Both times they perceived a
greater threat than gain.
 As to your comment, combat in space is an extraordinarily difficult
proposition. Ships move in and out of Underspace at unpredictable intervals.
You cannot linger long in real space because both sides possess weapons
capable of quickly obliterating the largest vessels. It is simpler, safer, and
more effective to fight on the surface.
 It is a question of persuasion. The Wais clacked its beak.  The Amplitur
seek to integrate all intelligences into their Purpose, while we strive to
convince their allies to rebel and join us in fighting against their former
masters.  The problem is that in many instances these subject peoples do not
see the
Amplitur accurately. Some regard them as teachers without really understanding
what it is they are being taught. Some of their oldest allies, like the
Crigolit and the Molitar, have been so thoroughly biologically reengineered
they are no longer capable of independent thought as we think of it. Will sat
motionless for a long while before replying.  And that s what you want here?
You want us to join your Weave?
 That is what we hope for whenever we contact a new species, Caldaq told him.
 Your level of contribution would depend on your capabilities. These remain to
be determined. For example, what we know of your technology thus far we find
puzzling. Certain aspects seem unnaturally primitive while other obscure areas
appear to have been highly developed. For example, you have many more orbital
relay satellites than you must need, yet we detect no evidence of travel
beyond your own world.
 We ve been to the moon, Will said almost defensively.  Robot probes have
visited all the planets.
 We detected no evidence of this.
 It s been pretty intermittent. There ll be a flurry of interest in the space
program, ours or the Russians , and then interest will flag for a while.  You
do not advance steadily? There is no constant progression? 
 I m afraid not.
Caldaq eyed his translator, confused.  What do you mean when you speak of
 you, and then  the
Russians ?
 Well, we have our own space program here in the States. The Russians have
theirs. So do the
Page 58
ABC Amber Palm Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abcpalm.html
Europeans and the Japanese.
 I still do not understand. Caldaq s lips drew back in confusion.  Who are
these  Russians and
 Europeans ?
Will wondered what the problem was.  Different peoples. The Wais interjected
gently in lucid
Massood.  I believe that the native may be referring to local tribes.
 Ah. Caldaq s heart sank. If despite their level of perceived technology
these people were still living a tribal existence, they would be of absolutely
no use to the Weave.  You speak of your tribes?
 We call them countries.
 Your various tribes& countries& each have their own programs of exploration [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]