originally appeared in the december 1947 issue of desperate space stories
editorial consultant: Prof. Dan Leo
he sat alone in his office, staring out his big window at the universe.
it was almost over. he had won.
there was one little detail to take care of.
and then he would be complete master - of everything and everybody.
sending the security police on this detail had not been as exciting as sending his army and space navy against the combined might of the united planets and the fifth empire, but it was something that had to be done.
the desk was empty except for the single blue telephone.
the phone rang.
that was quick, he thought.
he picked up the phone, expecting to hear the voice of colonel m———, of the security police.
but there was a different voice.
“hello,” said the voice.
“hello,” he managed to say.
“they have come for me,” said voice. “they are outside.”
he tried to answer but could not.
“it’s all right,” said the voice. “i understand. you have to do this.”
“i - i’m sorry,” he said.
the voice laughed. “of course you are not sorry. but i understand. i just heard the elevator stop. i have to go now.”