By Mack Reynolds

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The communes are on the fine edge of revolt. They've been pushed too far; they've got to the point where they just don't give a damn. " Reif said coldly, "We need immediate reforms. They've got to be pacified. An immediate announcement of more consumer goods, fewer State taxes, above all a relaxation of Security Police pressures. " Joe Chessman's sullen face was twitching at the right corner of his mouth. Young Taller made no attempt to disguise his contempt at the other's weakness in time of stress.

The Texcocans waited for him to go on. " "It should be discussed," Watson nodded. "Whatever the ... ah ... " The three of the Genoese team nodded their agreement. "And the problem becomes, have we accomplished completely what we set out to do? " They thought about it. Buchwald said hesitantly, "It has been my own belief that Genoa is not quite ready for us to let loose the ... ah, reins. If we left now, I am not sure—" Roberts said, "Same applies to Texcoco. The State has made fabulous strides, but I am not sure what would happen if we leaders were to leave.

They looked to him, questioningly. "The dynamic we find in Genoa—and Texcoco, too, for that matter, though we disagree on so many fundamentals—is beyond that in the Solar System. These are new planets, new ambitions are alive. We have at our fingertips man's highest developments, evolved on Earth. " "You mean—" Natt Roberts said. MacDonald nodded. "What particular of value is gained by our uniting Genoa and Texcoco with the so-called Galactic Commonwealth? Why not press ahead on our own? " "A point well taken," Gunther agreed.

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