By Bill Doede (?-?).
First appearance: Galaxy, December 1960.
Short story (13 pages).
Online at Project Gutenberg (HERE).
"A Konv cylinder was the key to space—but there was one power it could not match!"Fear can move people to do terrible things, but as a motive hatred sometimes leads to far worse outcomes. Mrs. Jamieson and her son Earl, both of them Konvs, have been living in a kind of self-imposed witness protection program, on the run from Agents who have been known to kill Konvs just for being Konvs. Mrs. Jamieson and Earl are among a select few who have a special implant that gives them abilities no one else on Earth has, abilities that have frightened governments into hunting them down.
To her dismay, Mrs. Jamieson gradually comes to realize that she and her son don't share the same goal, to kill any Agent they can as revenge for her husband's death, and it looks as if Earl might actually be feeling sympathy for their pursuers; with or without Earl's help, however, she won't be deterred from exacting her revenge. Like Captain Ahab, though, she will finally discover in her last moments that the rewards of vengeance are few and sudden and nasty . . .
- The ISFDb has an entry for Bill Doede (HERE).
- Winchell Chung discusses at length ideas that relate to the Konvs' special abilities on his Atomic Rockets website (HERE) and, of course, TV Tropes covers all the bases (HERE).
The bottom line: "Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven."
— Lord Saye