By Stephen Goldin

A misplaced vintage of technological know-how fiction.

Birk Aaland is a political outcast from Earth's tyranny, and has been residing for years on a planet inhabited exclusively by means of robots, ever seeing that his send crashed here.
Now one other send has crashed, and there's back a unmarried survivor—a lady who's desirous to warn Earth of an alien invasion.
But Birk is completely proud of his present exile—until a accident intervenes, inflicting each one of them to reconsider their lives and their overall existence.

"The tale profits an emotionality that justifies calling Goldin an artist, now not basically a writer." —Tom Easton, Analog Magazine

Originally released 1981 by way of Doubleday.

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Then he heard the sound of horses' hooves and the tramp of marching feet. A troop of soldiers appeared in the valley before him. Ahead came a standard-bearer, carrying a long pole which bore the image of a fierce golden eagle. Below the eagle were the initials SPQR. Behind the standard-bearer was a chariot, drawn by two tired horses. An officer marched beside the chariot, and behind him marched weary ranks of armoured men. They wore breastplates and helmets with horse-hair crests. They carried square shields, javelins and short swords.

The centurion took another swig of wine before replying, then gave the Doctor a swift, worried glance. 'It's all right, Centurion,' said the Doctor quietly. "That's why I've been sent here, to find out what's really going on. The Emperor needs to know the truth. ' 'Wouldn't surprise me one bit, sir,' muttered the centurion. ' 'To be honest, Legate, it's - confusing. We march, we fight, we march again, we fight some more. Fair enough, that's a soldier's life. ' encouraged the Doctor. 'We never seem to get anywhere.

Romans, thought the Doctor, and immediately wondered how he knew. ' Astonished, the officer raised his hand. ' The charioteer reined in his horses, and the ranks of marching soldiers came to a halt. Tired as they were, they made no attempt to break ranks. They stood alert, grasping thek swords and spears, awaiting orders. The officer studied the Doctor cautiously and decided that one man, alone and unarmed, presented no threat. Moreover, this man, strangely dressed as he was had an air of civilisation, even of rank about him.

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