"That was our translation. Yes. But we figured there was more to it than that, probably a particular kind of communication. Following the metaphor, if the sword is a tool used by one party to affect another in the interests of war, then the matching use of the pen would be for communicating with your erstwhile adversary."
"A teleconference," Craig said.
"Specifically, one with people you might otherwise be at war with. A spacebridge. Like the ones that Phil Donahue and Vladamir Posner facilitated in the waning days of the Soviet Union. Conversations between two communities separated by political and social tension, where the individuals involved could directly address one another."
"And that's what you've been doing? No wonder the administration is so paranoid about people communicating with citizens in countries we're at odds with. If what you say is true, that's the single most potent weapon for waging peace. They're not worried about possible terror cells, they're worried about having their entire cocoon of fear unraveled by a bunch of guerilla peaceniks."
Kelly snorted in agitation. "And we're the dupes they're using to cement their control. Well, I for one, am not about to sabotage the most potent force for peace ever developed."
"What are you going to do?"
"As long as they don't kick me out of the agency, I'll do my damnedest to watch your back, to give you cover." She turned to Craig, "And you?"
He laughed. "I've already started. By the way, on this mission, my name is Ron."
(This is the 10th and final installment of a series that began with "Motivation")