Sean Cloud dialed a headache pill. The pill tube flashed, "SORRY, OUT OF ORDER."
Sean had never been on Earth, for which he felt both a vague loyalty and a colonist's contempt. After all, Earth had made quite a mess of it in the late 1990s. But here he was, on the one in-shuttle Mars owned, going on behalf of the Martian colonies to request arms to defend the planet against the alien fleet sighted off Saturn.
But supposing the cheerful newstapes Earth sent the colonies were retouched? Suppose Westbloc hadn't any weapons, or needed them for its arms race with Eastbloc? Sean rubbed his aching head. No doubt about it, there'd be further headaches awaiting him in THE ASYLUM WORLD.