To his students, the instructor looked just a bit crazy. “This evening, I'm actually goingto teach. It will be a lesson you may not recall for...very long.” The sociology professor smiled,an odd, convoluted smile. It was an early fall class at a university in Nevada.His smile was the first any of his students had ever seen from him. Usually somber andalways hopelessly unattractive, the balding, middle-aged man had an uncommonly highforehead, a pug nose, a receding chin and the scar from a harelip. His eyes looked like theywere set too close-together and his eyebrows were practically non-existent. All of this wastopped off with thick wire-rimmed bifocals that were grossly oversized for his face. Thecombination produced a countenance of unearthly appearance that bordered on the grotesque.The professor's voice was medium in pitch, but nasally and cracked as he spoke. Hecontinued, “I have a scenario to describe, upon which our discussion this evening will be based.”Immediately a young woman in the front row raised a hand.“Yes?” The professor was obviously annoyed by the early interruption.“Dr. Richter, will there be a test on this?”The professor actually smiled again, this time exposing tiny, yellowed teeth. “No,” heresponded, simply. “Let's just listen, discuss, and learn.”He began.“Kenton was an electronics engineer, and a damned good one. In fact, Kenton was agenius. But like many people of his extensive talent and high intelligence, he was, in fact, alittle different. Some would have said he was socially maladjusted, while others wouldn't have been that kind about it. To Kenton, he simply didn't fit in, and that was all.If only people might have learned to '
live and let live'
. If only they could simply haveagreed to coexist. Of course, they didn't. Humanity has warred against itself since there wereenough humans to carry it out.Kenton's high level of expertise earned him a position working in tactical nuclear defense communications. His first day on the job, he was like a sixteen-year-old trying to drivea car for the first time. Like a kid, he couldn't believe he suddenly had so much capability at hisfingertips. In fact, he was never supposed to have it. But Kenton only had to look to see an easyway through all of the fail-safes. Eventually, all of the key switches, lockouts, and code entrystations admitted an authorization to the same, single point. Once the signal had reached that point, a launch would still be prevented by the absence of triplicate confirming entries fromanother source. If those coded entries were in place, the strike would be initiated. Of course, astrike by the United States would bring about a rapid response. In all probability, if there were