Chapter no 102

Quantum Radio

Ty shook his head. “You don’t want to do that. You don’t want to take the humanity away from those people.”

“What choice do I have? They want war. They won’t stop.” “They will.”

“How do you know?”

“I’ve seen it. On my world, Europe and Asia have been at peace with the nations of the Pax Humana for seventy-five years. It’s possible.” Ty nodded. “Sure, there was a very tense period—a long Cold War—where everyone thought the world could end at any given moment. Both sides were armed with weapons that could wipe out the other side. Just like you and the Pax are right now. In my world, that mutually assured destruction terrified both nations. In fact, I think maybe it was the key to peace. You don’t realize it, but what you have now is what you’ve always wanted: a real chance at peace. It’s peace or annihilation. The only thing you have to do is trust that the other side wants to see their children have a future. They don’t have one now. And because of that, they have nothing to lose. If you study them a little closer, you’ll realize that they aren’t so different from you.”

“What exactly are you proposing?”

“Peace. That’s why we came here—to make sure both sides have a future, one way or another.”

“What does peace mean to the Pax?”

“They know you’ve built massive military bases with millions of troops.”

When Helen said nothing, Ty continued. “I bet the Covenant suggested

you build those bases and assemble such a large army.” “What are you saying? What are you asking me?”

“The Pax made a simple demand of us: to change the coordinates of those A21 missiles to hit your massive military bases. They want to eliminate the missiles and the troops.”

“Out of the question. Those troops are Covenant citizens. They are sons and daughters and mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters.”

Ty held his hands up. “I’m just conveying their orders to us, letting you know what they’re thinking.”

“I won’t do it. Not to my own people.”

“To be honest, our team wasn’t willing to do it either. Our plan was to make the missiles land in Greenland or somewhere they couldn’t harm anyone. Our goal was simply to disarm you. But even with the missiles gone, the troops will remain—and they’ll be a threat to the Pax.” Ty paused a moment. “The troops are a curious aspect of all of this, don’t you think?”

When Helen said nothing, he continued. “Answer me this: if you had the ultimate weapon of peace, why would the Covenant instruct you to assemble millions of troops?”

Helen turned away and paced. “We assumed it was a backup. In case we weren’t able to create the bioweapon successfully.”

“But that theory doesn’t make sense, does it?” “No,” she said quietly.

“Because if they know the future, they would know that you would succeed in building the bioweapon. You wouldn’t need millions—tens of millions—of troops.”


“I think that’s what the Covenant is after. If I had to guess, I would bet it’s all been to that end: a troop build-up for some purpose that has nothing to do with the Pax or Reich Europa or possibly even this world.”

“Even if you’re right, I can’t use our weapon on them. I won’t.” “You don’t need to. There’s another way.”

“Which is?”

“Right now, both the Covenant and Pax are scared. You each see a predator across the sea—eyes upon you, waiting to pounce like our ancestors did. You’re being driven by your fear, your fight-or-flight instincts. But you don’t have to be. There’s a very easy way to overcome that fear. Kindness. You taught me that—another version of you did.”

“It’s a beautiful thought, but kindness can be seen as weakness. The truth is that we live in a cruel world where the kind don’t always survive.”

“You’d be surprised. Here’s what I’m asking you to do: see if the other side is willing to be kind too. If both of you are, this entire world will have a brighter future.”

Helen squinted at him. “I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Who to even talk with in the Pax.”

“It just so happens the exact person you should begin with is very close by.”

Helen frowned at him, clearly confused.

“Dr. Nora Brown,” Ty said. “Her father is a high-ranking Pax official. And the scientist who controls their superweapon. In a way, he is your counterpart. Both of you have your fingers on the weapons that can end the world. And I think neither of you really wants to press those buttons. Make a deal with her. You want peace? You won’t get it by fighting. But you could by talking.”

Helen considered his words for a moment, then tapped on the tablet and spoke in German.

“What are you doing?” Ty asked.

“Bringing her here. Along with the other prisoners.” “Good.”

They waited in silence for a while, Ty mentally struggling with what else he could say to change her mind. He knew time was slipping away.

“In your world,” Helen said, “what happened after the war ended?”

“Germany was split into four occupation zones, each administered by a different nation: the US, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. Berlin, the capital, was divided in half. The US, Britain, and France combined their zones. In the US, there was something called the Marshall Plan, which gave billions in aid to Europe to help it rebuild. It took a long time. To this day, the US still has massive military bases in Germany.”


“You need to cancel the rocket launch. Whatever you do, if you launch, and those rockets land in the Pax, it’s over. This world is over.”

Helen stared at him.

The door opened, and four Gestapo agents strode in, guns in hand. Nora, Kato, and Nora’s counterpart trudged in, followed by four additional Gestapo agents.

Helen motioned to the pen where Ty was being held. “Uncuff them and put them in with him.”

When they were in the cage and the door was locked, Helen dismissed the agents.

She glanced between Nora and her counterpart, studying them, finally settling her attention on this world’s Nora Brown.

“I’m told the Pax has created a superweapon.”

The woman stared defiantly. “If you try to strike us down, it will be the last thing the Covenant ever does.”

“She wants to help you,” Ty said. “I don’t believe it.”

Helen stepped closer to the metal cage separating them. “In addition to the A21 rockets, we have a standing army of almost thirty million.”

Nora’s counterpart didn’t blink. “The size of your army won’t matter against what we’ve built.”

“You miss my point,” Helen said. “It seems we have a knife at each other’s throat. The wrong move ends things for both of us. What I’m proposing is the other road: we both keep our weapons. But we empty our military bases. We send our troops to the Pax and help you rebuild your society. We enter a new era of cooperation.”

Nora’s counterpart snorted. “An invasion by any other name.”

“No,” Helen said. “Not an invasion. Or an occupation. A humanitarian mission.” Helen locked eyes with Ty. “An act of kindness. Our troops would be unarmed. Only a small number would come at first. Engineers. Construction crews. Advisers. When we build trust, more will come. And some—who want to—might even stay. And integrate. We will also open the Covenant to citizenship for Pax residents.”

“Those are some very, very big promises. Prove to me that you can deliver.”

Helen raised the tablet at her side and tapped it. “I just canceled the missile launch. Next, I’m going to get all of you—and Maria Santos—back to the plane you arrived on.”

“What are you asking from me?”

“Only one thing: to take my offer back to the Pax.”

“How do we know you can do what you’re promising?”

Helen reached up and touched the quantum radio medallion. A smile formed on her lips. “For a very long time, almost a hundred years now, my government has relied on my department to tell them what strategic moves to make to ensure our future. They follow our directives without question. They have learned to. Simply put, if I tell them we have to do something to ensure our future, they do it.”

To Ty, Helen said, “You were right. I am the only person who could make this happen. And in a strange way, you were the only person I would have believed.”

She held the medallion up and glanced at it. “At first, my ancestors were skeptical of this device. Then, when we discovered that what it told us was the truth about the future, it gave us the key to a better future. And so, we trusted what it told us. Without question. That changes today. Going forward, we’re going to start thinking for ourselves—and creating our own future.”

Helen studied Nora’s counterpart. “Do we have a deal? Will you take the offer back to your people?”

“Yes. I will.”

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