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"I think we could solve our problems more easily through strength of character; but that's always been a commodity in extremely short supply."
- Gregory Benford

Lash-Tube  
  Device emits an energy beam.  

Nat Johnson's gaunt shape loomed up and blocked his wayl. "All right, Baines. You asked for it."

A pink flash blossomed. It shut out the sunlight in a single blinding burst. Baines leaped back and clawed at his coat pocket. The edge of the flash caught him and he half-fell, stunned by the force...

His own tube came out - and Johnson had no shield. "You're under arrest, "Put down your tube and your hands up..."

The lash-tube wavered and then slipped from Johnson's fingers.

From The Golden Man, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by If in 1954
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