«Late in the afternoon. When he took her down to those old wells to teach her to shoot and put up a can somewhere and told her to pop at it and stood near her while she shot. And she didn't shoot at the can. She turned the gun and shot him, just the way she tried to shoot me today, and for the same reason. She moved a little and the gun slid off her knee and fell to the floor.
Not many—a hundred million, perhaps, where fifty years before, forty billions had swarmed. The huge, metal world was in jagged splinters. The towering thrusts of the multi-towers from the single world-girdling base were torn and empty—still bearing the original blastholes and firegut—shards of the Great Sack of forty years earlier. It was strange that a world which had been the center of a Galaxy for two thousand years—that had ruled limitless space and been home to legislators and rulers whose whims spanned the parsecs—could die in a month. It was strange that a world which had been untouched through the vast conquering sweeps and retreats of a millennia, and equally untouched by the civil wars and palace revolutions of other millennia—should lie dead at last.
lofloma : :