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Title: Telempathy
Author: Simonds, Vance
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Telempathy" ***

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                        Transcribers Note:

          This etext was produced from Amazing Stories June
  1963. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S.
             copyright on this publication was renewed.


                           TELEMPATHY


 _Suppose you really knew what everyone was feeling ... suppose you
   had a surefire way of predicting public reaction. Wouldn't you
             wonder, sometimes, if it could backfire._


                        By VANCE SIMONDS


                    Illustrated by SCHELLINGS


                         [Illustration]


       *       *       *       *       *

Huckster Heaven, in Hollywood, set out to fulfill the adman's dream in
every particular. It recognized more credit cards than it offered
entrées on the menu. Various atmospheres, complete with authentic decor,
were offered: Tahitian, Parisian, even Afro-Cuban for the delectation of
the Off-Beat Client. In every case, houris glided to and fro in
appropriate native costume, bearing viands calculated to quell, at least
for the nonce, harsh thoughts of the combative marketplace. Instead,
beamish advertisers and their account executive hosts were plied so
lavishly that soon the sounds of competitive strife were but a memory;
and in the postprandial torpor, dormant dreams of largesse on the
Lucullan scale came alive. In these surroundings, droppers of such names
as the Four Seasons, George V, and the Stadium Club were notably silent.

Campbell ("Cam") Schofft was ostentatiously honored as one of the
Huckster Heaven "in-group." His business card (die-bumped and
gold-dusted, of course) was one of those enshrined, under glass as it
were, in the foyer. His advice concerning California land speculation
was sought by the maitre d', a worthy who had sold his own posh oasis in
Escondido in order to preside at H. H., as the communications fraternity
affectionately styled the restaurant. Today, however, Cam was aware of
Michel's subtle disapproval as they glided into the Caribbean milieu.

And little wonder: The character awaiting Cam in the booth was
definitely not the H. H. type. Far from being cast in the approved lean,
sickly, bespectacled mold, Everett O'Toole featured jowls wider than
Cam's natural shoulders; and his gut threatened to thrust their tiny
table into the houris' concourse. Manhattan innkeepers often confused
Everett with Ralph Kramden, a classic comic character of the Sixties
still cast occasionally for the _cognoscenti_.

Cam viewed this great flow of flesh with dispassionate eyes. The
behemoth spoke:

"Can't resist a fast megabuck, eh, Cam?"

"As you know, hippo, I agreed to meet you here in the naive hope that
you had something to contribute to the science of marketing," said Cam.

"Science! Hah!" Everett sucked on his goblet. "I do have something to
sell, but it's probably over your head."

"Very possibly. In which event, I'll whirl on to something more
productive, and you can pick up your own tab for those half-gallons of
equatirial garbage you've been gulping."

Sobered by this threat, Everett looked about with a conspiratorial air
and leaned across the table.

"You and that giggle gang you call the Market Research Group have been
groping around like so many blind mice. How would you like to know in
advance, beyond any cavil, the exact future reaction to any product,
new, old or sea-changed--or to any campaign to be inflicted on the
peasantry?"

"How would _you_ like to be Duke of the Western World, with your castle
in Acapulco?"

"That's what keeps alive my faith in you," said Everett. "You _do_
understand, a little bit. That's what we call Empathy."

       *       *       *       *       *

Cam signalled for a Bellafonte Sunrise to fortify himself for the
forthcoming adventure in non-Aristotelian ratiocination.

"Empathy is our merchandise," Everett continued, looking around again.
"My associates and I have discovered our propensity for experiencing
vicariously--with unfortunate intensity--the emotional reactions of
others."

"I have encountered many ridiculous routines," Cam advised the Dominican
beauty placing new potables before them. "But this wins the Freberg."

"Exhibit A coming up." Everett lapsed into a pose of deep concentration,
like a two-bit swami. Cam noticed a tiny, rodent-type nose thrusting
itself up from Everett's side pocket. "Fear ... I detect great
apprehension--panic--hysteria verging on the loss of reason ... third
booth this side of the runes ... Valhalla."

Cam rose and went to the Nordic banquet hall. Vikings with groaning
platters and great horns of mead almost knocked him down, but he fought
his way to the curtained stall described, and eavesdropped.

"He ain't gonna take no for an answer this time, Quiverton," rasped the
guttural tones of one occupant. "Gable has to host the new series, with
Jean Harlow for the first guest star--or, he gets a new agency."

"Bu-but Fred, they're both dead."

"He ain't gonna stand still for any more alibis. It's up to
you--produce, or else! You got a week."

There was a sound of blubbering from within, interspersed with piteous
cries like those emitted by a rabbit transfixed by headlights. They
sounded to Cam like an account man he knew over at GFR&O; and this in
turn meant that the ultimatum was probably proceeding from the fabled
throne room of Occidental Tobacco itself, which billed more in one week
than some of Cam's clients knew had been printed. Cam even had a
blinding inspiration as to the means by which Occidental's megalomaniac
prexy, William McKinley Krog, might be satisfied in this latest
necrophiliac whim: Spectaculars built around the classics of the Golden
Age of the Silver Screen ... (By Godfrey! Not a bad series title!) ...
using film clips of deceased movie greats, and emceed by Stanislaus Von
Gort, who everybody thought was dead and therefore might as well be.


With this melee raging in his skull, Cam dodged back to Everett. He
found that worthy sliding liquidly from the booth, his side-pocket
familiar now half-emerged and regarding his gross symbiote with
more-than-animal concern.

"Quickly," cried Cam to the slave-girl. "Stimulants!"

"We only serve rum drinks in this section," unctuously responded the
Nefertiti of the Horse Latitudes; but a blazing glance from Cam sent her
scurrying, every cheek a-dance.

"You can see what this takes out of me," said the patient, treating
himself with deep draughts of Cam's Sunrise. "I don't know how many more
of these I--we--can take."

"Take it easy, boy. I conditionally buy your bit. Save your strength."
The small inhabitant of the side pocket was regarding him with some
asperity. "Who's your little chum?"

"I'm hep to your devious mind," giggled Everett. "You charlatan, you've
got it figured that he's one of my associates."

"You're stoned," said Cam, leading his obese charge stumbling and
falling out of the Caribbean grotto, past the Michael Mouse shrine and
the framed Exceptional T & E Vouchers (to which no exception had been
taken, thus attesting to the achievement of their authors).

"Get this, you call-boy of the communications complex," shrilled Everett
hilariously in the muted beauty of the business-card foyer. "You're
right; he is one of our _Gestalt_; but there's a couple more. And Our
Gang will cost you, Schofft, cost like crazy.... But you'll pay, through
the nose; because your clients will pay through the nose and ears! He,
he, he!" The pained features of the maitre d' reflected exquisite pain
as he ushered them into the sunlight.

Cam's car materialized at the curb, and he hustled the sodden Ev into
its dark, merciful confines.

"Granted that this entire affair is not some outré hoax ... a
possibility on which I don't entirely close the door ... your
'merchandise' might better be labelled _Tel_empathy," said Cam.

"Button-down lingo," sneered Ev.

"What is that miniature monster in your pocket ... Marmoset? Mutated
rat?"

"Super-mongoose. The result of certain esoteric nuclear experiments off
Madagascar."

They hove to at "MAB"--the Merchandising Arts Building, West Coast hub
of influence on the docile consumer.

They floated up the exterior tube to the 39th Floor (Socio-Economic)
which was actually the hotbed of the political efforts of Cam and his
associates. Entry through the wall-port brought them face-to-fang with
Father Sowles ("Save Your Souls With Sowles"). The lank, fiery
pulpit-pounder had been tabbed as a political natural by certain elders
whose money was known as wise; and in consequence, his campaign for the
Directorship of North America's Western Zone was being master-minded by
Pacific Persuaders, Inc., a pseudopod of the MAB complex.

The crusader struck a Charlton Heston pose and snarled: "In the name of
Christendom, what peculiar intruder bring you before me?"

Everett meticulously assayed the gaunt, fanatic figure before him, clad
in apostolic robes. "I'll do a lot for a dollar, as the girl said to the
soldier, but this is ludicrous. Who needs Telempathy? This cat is so
phony, any gossoon can peg him."

Sowles motioned to a monkish aide at a desk, who scribbled furiously in
a drab notebook. Cam walked to the aides' side and read: "Gossoons."

"I don't have to look, Cam," said Everett. "I have just issued the death
warrant for gossoons, if this vampire ever comes to power, and if he
ever finds out what they are."

"Down, boy," said Cam. "Father Sowles, this man and his group appear to
possess an instinct or faculty that could make the difference between
success and failure. Everett, belay the commentary and look sharp: This
is your chance at the large dinero."

"Curt!" Cam called the wall-com. On its screen appeared Curt Andrews,
bright young assistant account man, reflexively simulating activity at
his desk. "Bring in the Name-O-Scope, please."

       *       *       *       *       *

Cam turned to explain to the waiting group: "This gadget coming up is
another of our recent triumphs in the application of the scientific
method to marketing. Just as a computer solves problems in a split
second that would take human mathematicians months, the Name-O-Scope
arrives at and presents all the bewildering array of possible cognomens
for a given thing in a matter of hours. The proliferating combinations
of possible name components are reeled off in a rapid fire for our
evaluation."

Curt came in with what appeared to be a portable rear-screen
presentation projector, with dials and an extra lead; which he attached
to the conference table.

"With this device," continued Cam, "Edgar Rice Burroughs would not have
to have spent weeks playing with nonsense syllables before styling his
hero 'Tarzan'." He guided Ev to a specially constructed chair at the
table, rolled up one sleeve, applied the clamp to his bicep. "The
machine provided evaluation of alternate names on the basis of
blood-pressure fluctuation. Till now, we've had to operate on the basis
of a cumulative group reaction, with the obvious disadvantages of all
group samples. With Everett & Associates, we may well have a
single-unit, perfectly representative sounding board."

"Roll 'em, Curt. Ev, if this works, you've made the consultant roster."

"I trust that involves geetus," replied Ev.

Curt dimmed the lights. On the screen, three heraldic cornets sang a
fanfare, followed by floating banners:

"POSSIBLE TITLES FOR THE SOWLES MOVEMENT"

This dissolved to an aerial view of the 20th Century war (mostly clips
of the Normandy landings). The camera picked out one brave, clean column
(new footage) and zoomed in on the device at its fore: A Cross of
Lorraine with a Star of David at its center. Superimposed wavy letters
faded in:

"THE NEW CHURCH MILITANT"

Curt studied the dial with the aid of a pocketlite, and made a notation.
The scene and the martial music faded out, to be replaced by stock
footage from medieval epics: Peter the Hermit exhorting knights to smite
the Saracen, the clash of Mediterranean men o' war, chivalric pageantry
featuring again the cross-and-star:

"CRUSADE FOR OUR TIME"

The eyes of the super-mongoose gleamed in the shadows as Curt took the
reading.

Next came a montage of heroic scenes from two millennia of history: from
Agincourt to Iwo, from the villagers marching on Frankenstein's castle
to the Four Freedoms conference at sea. One familiar strain underscored
all the stirring action; its key words flamed to life:

"SOWLES' CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS"

Everett's familiar emitted a shrill squeak. Curt gasped, "Cam! Right off
the dial!"

"All right, Curt! Hit the lights.... We won't bother with the rest."

"What devil's work _is_ this?" demanded the cadaverous Sowles, blinking
as the lights went on.

"Father, for the first time in the history of mass opinion manipulation,
we are scientifically certain, in advance, of optimum response. Everett
and his Telempathetic _Gestalt_ have proved to be the equivalent of the
world's largest survey sample. In the past, whenever a product was about
to be launched on the board waters of the American mercantile ocean, but
lacked for a sobriquet, prides of copywriters and other creative people
huddled late into the night fashioning Names, from which the entire
marketing strategy would flow. Remember the Ocelot, Curt?"

"Lord, will I ever forget it. 18,000 names!"

"On behalf of our airplane account, gentlemen. Of those 18,000 names we
dreamed up for the 1981 model, some truly ridiculous labels crept in
when fatigue and inbred mental circumlocution weakened our defenses."

"The Dawn Play Air Coupe," recalled Curt, with a shudder. "The Pterrible
Pterodactyl.... The Crimson Inca...."

"Spare us, Curt. The point is that as a result of this grisly
experience, we invented the Name-O-Scope. The name 'Ocelot' was
ultimately selected, and worked out superbly--through sheer good fortune
alone. For your campaign, Father, the Name-O-Scope came up with 3,248
possible slogan-names."

"I saw only three," Sowles said, dourly. His aide scribbled something in
the notebook.

"I wouldn't inflict the whole wild roster on you, sir--or even on your
adjutant there. But we did expose them to selected samples in thirty
major markets; and the cumulative finding put these three in a class by
themselves, at the top. Furthermore, these random tests agreed 100% with
Everett in the selection of 'SOWLES' CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS' as the ideal
motif, out of those pre-eminent three.... So we are doubly, even triply
checked out before take-off; since these findings confirm the humble
opinion of our own staff."

The eagle-eyed leader bent his probing gaze on Cam. "So you say, wizard
of words. But while you're rejoicing in these strange devices and
stranger accomplices, the enemy draws nigh. The primary is but weeks
away, and already the invective of the political jackal beats on the
ears of the electorate like a stormy sea."

Everett lifted his shaggy head. "You mix a hirsute metaphor,
Charlemagne, but my li'l friends tell me that that's the sort of chatter
that the idiot voters will lap up like a friendly Frostee."

"You see, Father--this is the break we needed," pitched Cam. "With this
weird talent of Everett _et al_., we can pre-test every element of the
great campaign. The pieces of the jigsaw will drop into place overnight,
and we can kick off the Big Push next week.... Like with a monster rally
by torchlight and Kleig in Hollywood Bowl.... Singing our hymn under the
stars while millions view.... How 'bout that, Ev?"

The impresario of the impalpable nodded. "Should be great. Monstrous, in
fact."

       *       *       *       *       *

In the day that followed, Cam and all his cohorts in MAB let themselves
go in a good old-fashioned creative orgy. With one large difference. In
the past, copy, layouts, and other campaign ingredients were threshed
out in endless conferences, and decisions were made on the basis of an
informed group guess. Now, each new idea was exposed at infancy like a
Spartan baby to the elemental reaction of Ev & Co., and instantly given
the yea or nay.

The rotund oracle was kept under lock and latch in the "Think-Box." This
room had been scientifically designed for sequestering agency people who
had to give birth to slogans and such under deadline pressure. The walls
were sound-proofed, the couch pulled out into a properly uncomfortable
bed, and a refrigerator was stocked with snack makings. It was also
served by dumbwaiter. Phones were banished, of course; as was 3-D and
all other distraction--even windows. Visual motion was, however,
provided by a giant clock. The only concessions to Ev were a special
little hutch for the super-mongoose; and a bar, carefully regulated to
make certain he never completely blotted out the hypothetical brainwave
"network."

Cam did his best to pump Ev for the identity of his "Associates", but
the old sack of iniquity was wise to his game. He'd rear back and squint
at Cam like a Lebanese fruit vendor and thoughtfully pick his nose.
"Like to know me confederates, is it?" he'd ask. Then, with a great show
of candor: "Well, one of them is a sea creature, but I'll say no more
than that. I know you'd never be able to live with the thought of being
in business with a squid."

Then Ev would laugh wildly. "Ah, wouldn't he like to know!"

"It's only for your own protection," Cam expostulated. "I know there are
more people in this lash-up. We've got to make certain that they're safe
from accident--can't have the _Gestalt_ disrupted."

"Bosh," was Ev's invariable verdict.

Meanwhile, Cam's little elves paraded through with all the paraphernalia
of the Big Push. Livid posters, featuring a Messianic Sowles. Full-page
ads, exhorting everyone with an ounce of American decency in his body,
to attend the Rally Under The Stars. Subliminal commands were sneaked
into the visiphone and 3-D circuits. Couples in Drive-Ins found
themselves determined to be among those who stood up to be counted at
the Bowl. Christian Soldiers across the continent chartered all manner
of craft, from Ocelots to electromag liners, to bear them to the great
event. Goodies by the thousand were stamped out to hawk to the faithful:
Badges, banners, bumper stickers, wallet cards, purse-sized pix of
Sowles, star-and-cross medallions and lapel pins.... The potential
proceeds of the Rally alone began to assume war-chest proportions.

And above all they worked on the Speech. This had to be the greatest
sockdolager since Goebbels explained Stalingrad. Cam's feverish brain
had figured out a host of effects to catalyze the audience reaction. But
in the last analysis, triumph or disaster would hinge on the oral effort
of the Grim Reaper, as some of the minions at MAB had come to term
Sowles.

So, Huckster Heaven became a memory, like a place in a previous
existence. Other clients were neglected; and it was even left to Curt
Andrews to follow up Occidental Tobacco.

Books were carted in, thumbed through for inspiration, and cast back
into the outer corridor in disgust.

"Ev, catch this:

"'The flaming light of the Lord shall go forward into the farthest
reaches of this planet, to every village and commune where the
Anti-Christ has ruled; and indeed it shall go beyond, with mankind's
vaulting spirit, to the moon, the planets, and the stars!'"

"Not bad," quoth the half-sodden seer, inspecting another treasure from
his nasal passages. "My buddies say the marks will go for it like
Gang-Busters."

"Kindly refrain from the pseudo-sophisticated jazz," said Cam, in pain.
"One of these days your name's going to get written down in that little
book. And besides, this _is_ an intrinsically worthwhile movement."

"Kindly refrain yourself from the adman jargon and attempts to snow the
troops. This Sowles is the worst mountebank since Charlie Ponzi, and you
know it. You're in this for the fast megabuck same as me, so let's not
kid ourselves."

"Euramerica needs just such a unifying figure now," said Cam. "And just
such a cause, one that will inspire positive action against the Commie
Complex. Otherwise, the U. S. of E. will keep on floundering around in a
morass of debate while They single-mindedly weave our doom."

"On a single-minded loom," sang Ev into a snifter. "Who would have
thought that my great gift to the world would be put to such a perverse
use right off the bat?"

"Speaking of bat, let's get back on the ball." And the hands of the
clock rolled round and round....

       *       *       *       *       *

Two days before the Rally, an exhausted Cam tottered to the visiphone
down the hall, and dialled Sowles' Temple.

The monkish aide answered. "Sowles' Christian Soldiers; Brother Kane
here."

"What became of Abel?" asked Cam before his cortex could intervene. The
aide's eyes glowed with a promise of vengeance, as he put Cam through to
Sowles.

"How do the preparations progress?" asked the ex-cleric.

"Well, sir. Which is why I called. The first draft of the Speech is
ready."

"I'll be there within the hour," said Sowles, and the screen blanked.

When Sowles arrived at MAB, an Execusec conducted him to the door of the
"Think-Box." He stared disapprovingly after her. "When the Soldiers hold
sway, modesty will be rigidly enforced."

Cam dictated a memo to his pocket recorder forbidding MAB girls to
observe the current abbreviated fashions.

"Well, well; Friar Tuck," burbled Ev from his customary prone position
on the couch. "Have a toddy, and get that tired, cold blood
circulating."

"Revolting," said Sowles.

"Politics make strange bed-fellows, eh, Sowles? Like you 'n' me! And
let's not forget the Little Brown Jug! Ho, ho, ho!"

Sowles turned to (or rather, on) Cam. "The Speech?"

"Right. The Speech. Right here, sir." Cam tendered the manuscript.

The Grimmest of Reapers found the most uncomfortable chair in the room,
sat, and began reading. The first page was peeled off and dropped to the
floor; the second; the third; and finally, the entire effort was strewn
beside Sowles, who rose in what he undoubtedly considered righteous
wrath.

"You've missed the whole _Message!_" he hissed.

"Sir?"

"All this Pollyanna frou-frou is all right as frosting--but you've left
out the _cake!_"

Cam was momentarily spooked--and not "on account of the account,"
either. Sowles looked fully capable of loosing a full-fledged
Inquisition, complete with rack and thumbscrew, at Cam's well-barbered
head.

Sowles continued to fulminate. "You haven't got one word in there about
our _enemies!_"

"But Father, I refer several times to the Slave World and its evil
rulers...."

"Not just _Them!_ What about the traitors in our midst--the sinister
cabal of pinko liberals and moderate conservatives that have undermined
our defenses...."

"I thought the Smirch Society had staked out that claim," said Cam.

"Bah! The Smirchers are too mealy-mouthed for the needs of the hour. I
think _they're_ a little soft on Communism. And what about the race
mongrelizers?" spluttered Sowles. "Trying to subvert America with an
Afro-Asian Trojan Horse!"

"I suppose you can trace your ancestry all the way back to Caligula,"
muttered Everett.

"That's right, you human sewer! If I hadn't been assured you might be of
use to the Cause--" He left the sentence unfinished.

"I get the picture, Father." Cam ushered Sowles to the door. "We'll get
the new draft out right away."

"And don't forget the economic heretics," Sowles shouted as the door
closed on him. "The fiends that concocted the income tax, and Social
Security, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and...."

"Wow," breathed Cam, when the torrent was finally cut off.

"How do you like Galahad now?" asked Ev from the bar.

"Build me one too," answered Cam.

       *       *       *       *       *

Nevertheless, the revision had to be done, and done it was.

"That'll have 'em seein' Red, all right," pronounced Everett.

"It's got everything in it except a declaration of war on Switzerland,"
said Cam ruefully.

"Quiet--or he'll hear about that, and want it too," said Ev.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Day of the Rally dawned bright and smoggy, but the weather boys
promised a clear, cool evening. Naturally, the major 3-D nets were all
set to 'cast the "birth in the Bowl" of a potentially historic campaign.
Satellites would bounce the signal over oceans and continents,
throughout Euramerica, as well carrying the presentation as to allies
and unaligned nations from Tokyo to Karachi. The crusading aspect of
Sowles' candidacy had been tom-tommed so well that pundits were already
predicting that Sowles might easily go on to the Governorship of North
America two years hence--if, indeed, his Soldiers did not sweep to
control of the U. S. of E. Parliament then. That, of course, would
install the Grim Reaper in the Presidential Palace.... Cam shuddered and
thrust the thought from his mind. But wild dreams aside, there was no
doubt that two hemispheres' attention was riveted on the big-time debut
of the West Coast's Angel of Vengeance.

En route to the Bowl, the "Soldier" theme was already manifest. Every
few feet, a "Brother-Private" in a new, usually ill-fitting uniform was
directing traffic or hawking MAB-confected wares. "Father-General"
Sowles appeared to have lifted more than one leaf from the Salvation
Army's book.

Cam himself had been verbally commissioned Brother Lieutenant-Colonel
when the revised oration had been submitted to Sowles. The Reaper ate it
up this trip. "You'd have thought it came down from Sinai on tablets,"
said Ev after Sowles left to begin practicing the Speech.

"He'll make it sound that way," Cam had remarked. "Above all, Our Leader
is a great orator."

"Translation: bloody demagogue," Ev had replied.

Now their chauffeured air-suspension limo was tooling them up through
the thickening crowds to the hill-cradled amphitheater.

Curt had come along to help. "What's going to happen to the overflow?"
he asked anxiously, peering at the turgid sea of faces outside.

"Special buses will take them to closed circuit 3-D houses," said Cam.

"Fantastic," said Ev.

Inside, there were just about the same number of last-minute panics and
snafus as at most 3-D spectaculars. Power for the innumerable huge
coaxial snakes was several times inadequate, which problem no one, of
course, had foreseen. But eventually all the crises had had their moment
and were coped with--and suddenly it was almost air time.

Cam, Curt, and Ev repaired to the control booth and found an area where
they wouldn't be under the technicians' feet. (Cam had decreed a triple
platoon system on this one: a fresh director and crew were alternated in
every fifteen minutes.) Ev produced a flask, which Cam and Curt
declined; but the super-mongoose took a few greedy licks at the cap.

"A lush _Gestalt_ yet," muttered Curt.

"Don't insult the folks that put you in silk, sonny," advised Ev.

"Tell me about the others now," said Cam. "Everything's out of our hands
anyhow."

       *       *       *       *       *

Ev breathed deeply. "Okay, I'll tell you a wee bit. One of us is a
Pathan valet in Bombay--which would cut up the Reaper worse than the
fictitious _entente_ with the squid. And the Pathan must have a few
drops of Irish blood and, ergo, second sight--he contributes enormously
to the acuity of our insight into potential human reaction."

"Mmmm. And?"

"My small friend here, the super-mongoose, is the amplifier. Some goofy
new gland, I suppose--or as you guessed, a mutational development. In
that tiny _corpus_, however it came about, is an organ that enables us
to communicate on an elemental level among ourselves without regard to
mileage; and to probe psyches anywhere in the world--as many as we want.
Actually, we have to keep his output at a fraction of capacity, or else
get swamped in a tidal wave of emotion."

"That accounts for three. But you indicated there were four," said Cam.

"No, I never! But you're right. There is a fourth. Twelve years old; IQ
about 180. Never even leaves his room. But his mind--and his psi
faculties--have seven-league boots. He runs our team."

"Where does he live?"

"High on a windy hill. He, he, he!" Ev hit the flask as a trout the fly,
and an engineer glared. The gradually rising stage lights signalled the
Zero Second in a symphony of changing color.

First, the cross-and-star symbol grew from a tiny point on the stage
until it became a living pillar of luminosity that seemed to dwarf the
night.

Then came the distant music of fife and drum, augmented by cornet:
"Yankee Doodle;" and in the traditional Revolutionary regalia, the
musical minute-men led a parade down the aisles of the Choral Guard.
They segued to "Onward Christian Soldiers" as they marched past the
mesmerized audience, up to and onto the stage; and topped off the medley
with "The Battle Hymn of The Republic." It was only great.

"The folks are already on the ropes," said Ev.

"Where does he live?" asked Cam.

A Brother-Major came forward and led the Choral Guard and audience in a
responsive psalm that emphasized the smiting of enemies. With the
"Amen," the cameras panned with the audience's eyes up to the pregnant
night sky. You could hear an option drop.

Then the Guard did some fancy quick-step singing on stage: "God Bless
America"; "Over there"; and "The Soldiers Are Coming", to the tune of
"The Campbells Are Coming", complete with bagpipe brigade.

Next, a rather hard-featured Sister Captain told how the growing army of
the Lord needed support. The Offertory was handled by Brother N.C.O.'s
while super-imposed 3-D slides told the brethren at home exactly how to
get their bux to Sowles. Meanwhile a battery of organs swept through the
"_Marseillaise_", "Land Of Hope And Glory", and other U. S. of E. songs.
Finally, a Guard contralto came forward and got the whole crowd on its
feet to join her in singing "The Star Spangled Banner."

"They're limp as old wet-wash," said Ev.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now the Bowl went dark except for the pale light of the moon and stars.
Minutes passed. Eventually, a spotlight picked out Sowles standing
alone, quietly, meditatively, at Stage Right. He looked as though
wondering if it was all right to come out. The audience went wild. Cam
reflected that it probably would have, even without the claques he had
planted. As it was, had the Bowl had a roof, it would have been blasted
off.

"We're picking up reactions like mad," said Ev.

"The U. S. of E. audience alone will hit at least 200 million," said
Cam.

"All thinking--I should say feeling--like one great docile beast."

"Where does he live?" Cam asked again.

"Tibet," blurted Ev unthinkingly; then he turned and glared at Cam as he
might at a tarantula in his daiquiri.

But Sowles had begun to speak. A huge rear-projection screen behind him
visualized each thought uttered. He started with the theme of the West:
how logical that a great new crusade should be born here where men of
the cloth had first blazed Western civilization's trails; Berkeley was
quoted about the Westward Star of Empire; this was the shore sought by
the most valiant of the westering tide of pioneers; etc., etc. Meanwhile
the 3-D living mural milked Western scenery to a fare-thee-well. Gaunt
fishermen stared out over Puget Sound, and Big Sur underlined the
concept of rugged strength. Mount McKinley and Mazatlan passed in
review.

Then Sowles got down to business. This vital young giant--the West--was
not going to let the effete pestholes of the East (by this he meant all
the way East, including Stockholm, Athens, and Kashmir) forfeit the
Caucasian heritage with their decadent goings-on. The Commie Complex was
not going to be handed the rest of the planet on a silver platter
because of Euramerican "marshmallow moral fiber."

He proceeded to the list of Hates: Welfare Statism; tyranny by tax
("Remember the Boston Tea Party!"); loose divorce laws; fraternal
lodges; "promiscuous enfranchisement"; water fluoridation; and so on.
These were but a few of the cancers, he screamed, that must be
ruthlessly excised from the body politic so that a lean, clean
Euramerica might face the Arch-Enemy on reasonably even terms.

"They're frothing at the mouth," said Ev.

Now Sowles really tore the rag off the bush. He described the Godless
Atheists that held half the world in thrall. He rehearsed again the
butchery of the kulaks and the kangaroo courts of Cuba. He showed the
Mongol tanks rumbling into Budapest and the pinched-face terror of the
East German refugees; the "human sea" charges in Korea and the flight of
the Dalai Lama.

Suddenly Cam was struck by a wild surmise.

"Number Four--he's the Panchen Lama, isn't he?" Cam knew that the
current Red puppet high priest was about twelve.

"You win the cigar," said Ev.

Cam made up his mind quickly. "Ev, listen to me and do exactly as I say.
This is crucial."

"What?"

"Turn up the gain on the mongoose."

"What for? It's all I can stand right now!"

"Never mind. Turn it up."

"You're the account exec."

       *       *       *       *       *

Now Sowles began telling in hushed whispers how it would be under the
Reds. The huge mural became a panorama of rapine. Commie soldiers sacked
Euramerican cities and hamlets. Girls were dragged off for the pleasure
of drunken battalions. Barbarian guffaws rang out as homes and stores
were pillaged and put to the torch.

"Ourch!" gritted Ev. "All this hate...."

"Have another snort and turn up the gain."

The crowd began to low like a cow in labor. Sowles swung into the
climax: A series of questions shouted to the audience....

"Would you work night and day to crush this menace to your homes, your
family, your country, your _God?_"

"_YES!_" The hills rang with the full-throated bellow.

"Would you fight, and if need be, die, to save our civilization and slay
the Commie monsters in their lairs?"

"_YES!_"

Cam thought he could even hear answering shouts from outside the Bowl.
"Turn up the gain again."

"Will you place in the hands of your servants, the Christian Soldiers,
all powers necessary to crush the barbarian tide?" This last was fairly
screamed. Sowles was draped across the podium, arms outstretched to the
audience.

"YES! YES! YES!" thundered the reverberating response.

Fife, drum, and cornet struck up "Onward" very softly.

"_Will you follow me to the_ ends of the earth--to the very gates of Red
Hell itself--destroying every obstacle in our path--until the
Anti-Christ has been annihilated root and branch, and we have come into
our Kingdom? _Will you follow ME??!_"

Pandemonium. The crowd surged into the aisles, falling in with the
Choral Guard, singing, shouting, weeping.

"He hit high C," said Ev.

"Full gain," said Cam.

Ev gulped more skull-buster and stroked the "amplifier" in the region of
the pancreas.

Sowles' arms were uplifted, and one of Cam's clever little effects
haloed his flying locks.

"KILL THE REDS!" he shrilled.

"Kill ... REDS ... KILL ... REDS ..." chanted the crowd, in time to the
drum.

The bright feral light of the super-mongoose's eyes seemed to lance at
Sowles, like an infra-red flash. Then there was a puff where the
would-be messiah had stood--a crackle, and a smell of scorched air; but
no more Sowles.

"He's gone!" said Curt.

"You're damn right, and thank God for it," said Cam, ministering to Ev
who had slumped unconscious from his chair.

       *       *       *       *       *

The mob broke up uncertainly, with the disappearance of the focus for
its concerted bloodlust. The police asked many questions but none of the
right ones. Finally, Cam, Ev, and Curt escaped to the waiting limo and
started the long slow crawl downhill.

"Now--give," said Ev.

"Feedback. That's why I had you unleash Mighty Mouse. All that hate in
hundreds of millions of people _had_ to boomerang back through your
_Gestalt_ in some psi-fashion ... although I did not anticipate the
pyrotechnics--or should I say pyrokinetics?"

"But what for, Cam?" asked Curt. "I've never seen such an effective job
of mass influence."

"He could have been elected President tomorrow," said Ev.

"That's just it--we did too good a job. And I think that's the way your
Tibetan quarterback wanted it." Cam tilted Ev's flask. "Sowles was a
cinch to go all the way, which would have meant all-out war. Maybe your
junior Fu Manchu figured he could pick up the pieces afterwards."

"How could he know you'd have a character like Sowles all set to go?" Ev
said. "Oh, I get it--precognition. It's fortunate that his crystal ball
didn't read as far as the outcome tonight."

"In any case, we'd better get your Pathan over here, and start
rebuilding your _Gestalt_," said Cam. "You won't hear from the
Panchen--he's undoubtedly constructing a new, all-Red unit right now.
After this bit, psi faculties, including telempathy, have to be
considered another weapons family in the Cold War ... a new set of
pieces of the big chessboard. So you're going to have to find a
substitute for the Himalayan Quiz Kid, and git crackin'."

"I'll consider your application," said Ev, giving his flask the _coup de
grace_; and the lights of L.A. rushed up around them like a huge
breaker--gaudy, garish, and beautifully comprehensible.

THE END

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcribers Notes:

 Printer's errors corrected as follows:

 Page 61, "veging" to "verging". (hysteria verging on the loss of
 reason).

 Page 62, "Quickly" to "Quickly," to fix endquote punctuation.

 Page 63, "expperiments" to "experiments". (esoteric nuclear
 experiments).

 Page 63, "aides'" to "aide's" since referring to (a monkish aide).

 Page 64, removed extra word: "an extra lead; which lead he attached" to
 "an extra lead; which he attached".

 Page 64, "millenia" to "millennia". (two millennia of history).

 Page 64, punctuation: "SOWLES 'CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS' to "SOWLES' CHRISTIAN
 SOLDIERS" (matches format of other headlines on page).

 Page 65, "weakend" to "weakened" (weakened our defenses).

 Page 65, "those-pre-eminent" to "those pre-eminent".

 Page 66, added missing "." ( ... "with one large difference In the past"
 ... to ... "with one large difference. In the past" ... ).

 Page 66, moved quote marks outside period mark ("Network.")

 Page 70, "demoagogue" to "demagogue" (bloody demagogue).

 Page 70, "course." to "course," (no one, of course, had foreseen).

 Page 71, "Chorla" to "Choral" (Choral Guard).

 Page 72, '"Amen",' to '"Amen,"'.

 Page 72, "clauqes" to "claques" (the clauqes he had planted). NB. a
 claque is a group of people hired to applaud.

 Page 72, "milion" to "million" (at least 200 million).

 Page 73, ":" to ";" (list of hates: Welfare Statism; tyrrany by tax).

 Page 74, added extra '.' (KILL ... REDS ...).

 Page 75, "titled" to "tilted" (Cam tilted Ev's flask).





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