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Her family was much harder to live with than Pete. Erisa sparked to life, "Let go for a swim." Erisa and Pete found that the YMCA had made for a great relationship. They loved to swim, and they swam to love. The evenings were wonderful.

Chapter 3 Earth Shudder

That weekend, at the Mexican restaurant they had discovered together, Erisa and Pete took up the topic of two months before. The topic now seemed years past.

Pete started, "OK, let's say that the President tells us that the planet is not safe any longer because the secret of the bomb is out."

"That has the wrong solution. In that case, moving off the planet does not decrease the fear of the people left on the planet. It would be ridiculous. Do we all decide that we are dead and are going to have to save a few of us or something?"

"You are right. It is ridiculous," said Pete. "I suspect that there has to be a way that moving people into space is, first, something that enemies commonly want to do. And, second, that moving them into space must somehow resolve a conflict between them. One must somehow be the winner and the other the loser."

"This is a hard problem," said Erisa. "If you were the President, you would have to find something that can compel the competition and resolve it by settling another planet, establishing a long space voyage, or something. All those international committees of scientists agreeing on treating planets like we treat Antarctica is not useful. You need countries claiming planets and establishing garrisons to defend them. But who's crazy enough to claim a planet for a country? It's hard to claim something that everybody can see equally well. If you have to do this, you might as well invade a neighbor, like Iraq did with Kuwait."

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