The Best Made Plans

Everett B. Cole
The Best Made Plans, by Everett
B. Cole

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Title: The Best Made Plans
Author: Everett B. Cole
Release Date: October 5, 2007 [EBook #22892]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Greg Weeks, Bruce Albrecht and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at

[Illustration: Illustrated by van Dongen]



Astounding Science Fiction
[Illustration] There are some people that it is extremely unwise to
cross ... and the fireworks start when two such people cross each other!

Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from Astounding Science
Fiction, November and December, 1959. Extensive research did not
reveal any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was

Don Michaels twisted about uneasily for a moment, then looked toward
the doors of the darkened auditorium. He shook his head, then returned
his attention to the stage. Of course, he'd joined in the applause--a guy
felt sort of idiotic, just sitting there while everyone else in the place
made loud noises--but that comedy act had been pretty smelly. They
should have groaned instead of applauding.
Oh, sure, he thought, the drama students had to have experience on the
stage. And they really needed an audience--if they were going to have
any realism in their performances. Sure, that part of it was all right, but
why did the professionals have to join the party? Why did they have to
have 'casts like that last thing--especially at a school Aud Call? It
seemed anything but educational, and he'd had to skip a good class for
this one. He shrugged. Of course, everyone else had skipped one class
or another, he knew. So why should he be an exception? Too, some of
the students would welcome and applaud anything that gave them a

break from their studies. And the schedule probably took account of
this sort of thing anyway. But....
A fanfare interrupted his thoughts. From the backstage speakers came
the smooth rhythm of a band playing a march trio. He sat back.
The screen glowed and became a large rectangle of blue, dotted with
fleecy clouds. In the distance, the towers of Oreladar poked up from a
carpet of green trees.
Swiftly, the camera approached the city, to center for a moment on a
large sports stadium. Players dashed across the turf, then the camera
swung away. Briefly, it paused to record various city scenes, then it
crossed the walls of the Palace and came to ground level on the parade
grounds of the Royal Guards.
A review was underway. For a few seconds, the camera held on the
massed troops, then it centered on the reviewing stand. The band
modulated smoothly into a brilliant quickstep and a column of guards
marched to center screen, the colors of their dress uniforms contrasting
with the green of the perfectly kept field.
Now, the field of view narrowed, centering the view first on the color
guard, then on the colors alone. The camera moved down till the gold
and blue of Oredan's royal colors stood out against the blue sky.
The band music faded, to be over-ridden then replaced by a smooth
baritone voice.
"This is your news reporter," it said, "Merle Boyce, bringing you the
latest happenings of the day."
The colors receded, their background blurring then coming into focus
again. Now, they stood before a large window. Again, the camera
receded and a man appeared in the foreground. For a moment he sat at
his plain desk, gazing directly out of the screen and seeming to look
searchingly into Don's face. Then he smiled engagingly and nodded.

"As every citizen of Oredan knows," he said, "this nation has been
swept by a wave of terrorism during the few days past. Indeed, the now
notorious Waern affair became so serious that our Prime Minister
found it necessary to take personal command of the Enforcement Corps
and direct the search for the terrorists himself. Now, he is present, to
bring to you, the people, his report of the conclusion of this terrible
affair." He paused, drawing a breath.
"Citizen of Oredan," he declaimed slowly, "the Prime Minister, Daniel
Stern, Prince Regent."
He faced away from the camera and faded from view. Again, the gold
and blue of Oredan filled the screen.
There was a brief blare of trumpets. Then drums rolled and the heavy
banner swept
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