Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Forward the Foundation Chapter 22
Part IVWanda SeldonSELDON, WANDA- In the waning categorys of Hari Seldons life, he grew most attached to (some advance dependent upon) his granddaughter, Wanda. Orphaned in her teens, Wanda Seldon disposed herself to her grandfathers Psychohistory Project, filling the va tidy sumcy left by Yugo AmarylThe con ten dollar billt of Wanda Seldons work stay largely a mystery, for it was conducted in virtu anyy total isolation. The save separates al grimed oerture to Wanda Seldons research were Hari himself and a young slice named Stettin Palver (whose descendant Preem would four hund ablaze(p) years later contri scarcee to the rebirth of Trantor, as the planet bloom from the ashes of the Great Sack 300 F.E.1).Although the full extent of Wanda Seldons contri howeverion to the Foundation is unkn suffer, it was doubtlessly of the greatest magnitudeEncyclopedia gal subroutineica1Hari Seldon walked into the astronomical Library (limping a secondaryr, as he did more than and more o ften these old mature) and do for the banks of skips, the little vehicles that slid their way a retentive the interminable corridors of the building complex.He was held up, however, by the messiness of three custody seated at iodine of the galactography alcoves, with the Galactograph showing the wandflower in full three-di reachsional representation and, of course, its realnesss slowly pinwheeling around its core, whirl at right angles to that as well.From where Seldon s likewised he could decide that the delimitation responsibility of Anacreon was marked off in glowing red. It skirted the distinctness of the coltsfoot and took up a great volume, plainly it was sparsely populated with stars. Anacreon was non n a refreshedorthy for either wealth or culture only if was remarkable for its distance from Trantor ten thousand parsecs away.Seldon acting on impulse, took a seat at a com redacter console near the three and sic up a random search he was sure would ripost e an enigmatical period. Some instinct told him that such an intense interest in Anacreon essential be political in nature-its po modelion in the Galaxy do it angiotensin converting enzyme of the least secure holdings of the current purple regime. His eyes remained on his screen, but Seldons ears were open for the discussion near him. One didnt usu e very(prenominal)y find political discussions in the Library. They were, in point of fact, not supposed to take place.Seldon did not know any of the three men. That was not entirely surprising. in that respect were habitues of the Library, quite a few, and Seldon knew most of them by sight-and some sluice to chat to-but the Library was open to all citizens. No qualifications. Anyone could enter and use its facilities. (For a limited period of conviction, of course. lone(prenominal) a select few, like Seldon were allowed to gravel up shop in the Library. Seldon had been granted the use of a locked mysterious theatrical ro le and complete access to Library resources.)One of the men (Seldon fancy of him as Hook meander, for obvious reasons) spoke in a low urgent voice.Let it go, he say. Let it go. Its costing us a mint to try to hold on and, heretofore if we do, it pull up stakes merely be while theyre there. They cant stay there forever and, as before retentive as they leave, the bureau leave alone revert to what it was.Seldon knew what they were lambasting astir(predicate). The news had come up over TrantorVision lonesome(prenominal) three age ago that the Imperial administration had decided on a show of force to bring the obstreperous regulator of Anacreon into distinguish. Seldons own psychohistorical analysis had shown him that it was a useless procedure, but the pre situationntial term did not generally listen when its emotions were stirred. Seldon smiled slightly and grimly at comprehend Hook Nose say what he himself had say-and the young man state it without the benefit of any knowledge of psychohistory.Hook Nose went on. If we leave Anacreon alone, what do we lose? Its still there, right where it always was, right at the edge of the conglomerate. It cant pick up and go to Andromeda, can it? So it still has to deal out with us and life keep ons. Whats the difference if they salute the emperor moth or not? Youll neer be able to promulgate the difference.The second man, whom Seldon had labeled baldy, for even more obvious reasons, tell, Except this full-length business doesnt exist in a vacuum. If Anacreon goes, the other(a) border provinces pass on go. The Empire will tone down up.So what? whispered Hook Nose fiercely. The Empire cant run itself effectively anymore, anyway. Its too big. Let the border go and take care of itself-if it can. The interior(a) Worlds will be all the stronger and better off. The border doesnt aim to be ours politically it will still be ours economically.And now the third man ( rosy-cheeked Cheeks) say, I wish yo u were right, but thats not the way its pass to work. If the border provinces establish their independence, the eldest occasion all(prenominal) will do will be to try to increase its power at the expense of its neighbors. at that placell be war and conflict and every one of the governors will dream of sui parry emperor at last. It will be like the old days before the Kingdom of Trantor-a dark age that will last for thousands of years.Baldy state, Surely things wont be that bad. The Empire may break up, but it will heal itself quickly when people find out that the breakup that means war and impoverishment. Theyll look back on the golden days of the intact Empire and all will be well again. Were not barbarians, you know. Well find a way.Absolutely, express Hook Nose. Weve got to remember that the Empire has approach crisis after crisis in its history and has pulled through time and again. nevertheless going Cheeks shook his head as he said, This is not still other(prenomi nal) crisis. This is something more worse. The Empire has been deteriorating for generations. Ten years worth of the junta washed-up the deliverance and since the fall of the junta and the rise of this new Emperor, the Empire has been so anemic that the governors on the Periphery dont book to do anything. Its going to fall of its own weight.And the allegiance to the Emperor- began Hook Nose.What allegiance? said Red Cheeks. We went for years without an Emperor after Cleon was assassinated and no one seemed to object much. And this new Emperor is just a figurehead. Theres nothing he can do. Theres nothing anyone can do. This isnt a crisis. This is the end. The other two stared at Red Cheeks, frowning. Baldy said, You authentically be pillowve it You think that the Imperial government will just sit there and let it all happen?Yes Like you two, they wont believe it is happening. That is, until its too late.What would you want them to do if they did believe it? asked Baldy.Red C heeks stared into the Galactograph, as if he ability find an answer there. I dont know. Look, in due course of time Ill damp things wont be too bad by then. Afterward, as the situation gets worse, other people can worry about it. Ill be asleep(p). And so will the good old days. peradventure forever. Im not the only one who thinks this, by the way. Ever hear of mortal named Hari Seldon?Sure, said Hook Nose at once. Wasnt he commencement ceremony Minister at a lower place Cleon?Yes, said Red Cheeks. Hes some sort of scientist. I heard him give a talk a few months back. It felt good to know Im not the only one who believes the Empire is falling a split. He said-And he said everythings going to pot and theres going to be a permanent dark age? Baldy interjected.Well no, said Red Cheeks. Hes one of these real unadventurous types. Ire says it might happen, but hes wrong. It will happen.Seldon had heard enough. He limped toward the table where the three men sit down and touched Red Cheeks on the shoulder.Sir, he said, may I speak to you for a moment?Startled, Red Cheeks looked up and then he said, Hey, arent you Professor Seldon?I always have been, said Seldon. He handed the man a reference tile strength his photograph. I would like to see you here in my Library office at 4 P.M., day after tomorrow. Can you manage that?I have to work.Call in sick if you have to. Its important.Well, Im not sure, sir.Do it, said Seldon. If you get into any sort of trouble over it, Ill put right it out. And meanwhile, gentlemen, do you spirit if I study the Galaxy simulation for a moment? Its been a long time since Ive looked at one.They nodded mutely, apparently discomfit at being in the presence of a former First Minister. One by one the men stepped back and allowed Seldon access to the Galactograph controls.Seldons leaf reached out to the controls and the red that had marked off the Province of Anacreon vanished. The Galaxy was unmarked, a glowing pinwheel of mist bright ening into the spherical glow at the center, instalation which was the Galactic black hole.Individual stars could not be made out, of course, unless the hear were magnified, but then only one portion or another of the Galaxy would be shown on the screen and Seldon cherished to see the whole thing -to get a look at the Empire that was vanishing.He pushed a contact and a series of xanthous dots appeared on the Galactic image. They represented the in liveable planets-twenty-five million of them. They could be distinguished as individual dots in the thin fog that represented the outskirts of the Galaxy, but they were more and more thickly placed as one moved in toward the center. There was a belt of what seemed solid yellow (but which would separate into individual dots under magnification) around the exchange glow. The central glow itself remained white and unmarked, of course. No habitable planets could exist in the midst of the turbulent energies of the core.Despite the great engrossment of yellow, not one star in ten thousand, Seldon knew, had a habitable planet circling it. This was unbent, despite the planet-molding and terraforming capacities of universe. Not all the molding in the Galaxy could make most of the solid grounds into anything a human being could walk on in comfort and without the protection of a spacesuit.Seldon closed another contact. The yellow dots disappeared, but one tiny region glowed blue Trantor and the various worlds like a shot dependent on it. As close as it could be to the central core and yet remaining insulated from its deadliness, it was commonly viewed as being dictated at the center of the Galaxy, which it wasnt-not truly. As usual, one had to be impressed by the smallness of the world of Trantor, a tiny place in the bulky realm of the Galaxy, but within it was squeezed the largest concentration of wealth, culture, and governmental authority that humanity had ever seen.And even that was doomed to destruction.It wa s almost as though the men could read his mind or maybe they interpreted the sad formulation on his face.Baldy asked softly, Is the Empire really going to be destroyed?Seldon replied, softer still, It might. It might. Anything might happen.He rose, smiled at the men, and left, but in his thoughts he screamed It will It will2Seldon sighed as he climbed into one of the skitters that were ranked side by side in the large alcove. There had been a time, just a few years ago, when he had gloried in walking briskly along the interminable corridors of the Library, guaranteeing himself that even though he was last(prenominal) half dozenerty he could manage it. nevertheless now, at seventy, his legs gave way all too quickly and he had to take a skitter. Younger men took them all the time because skitters saved them trouble, but Seldon did it because he had to-and that made all the difference.After Seldon punched in the destination, he closed a contact and the skitter lifted a fraction o f an inch above the floor. Off it went at a rather casual pace, very smoothly, very silently, and Seldon leaned back and watched the corridor walls, the other skitters, the occasional walkers.He passed a number of bibliothecs and, even after all these years, he still smiled when he saw them. They were the oldest Guild in the Empire, the one with the most revered traditions, and they clung to ways that were more appropriate centuries before-maybe millennia before.Their garments were silky and drop and were loose enough to be almost gownlike, coming together at the neck and billowing out from there.Trantor, like all the worlds, oscillated, where the males were concerned, between facial nerve hair and smoothness. The people of Trantor itself-or at least most of its sectors-were shaved and had been smooth-shaven for as faraway back as he knew-excepting such anomalies as the mustaches worn by Dahlites, such as his own foster son, Raych.The Librarians, however, clung to the beards of long ago. Every Librarian had a rather short neatly polished beard running from ear to ear but leaving redundant the upper lip. That alone was enough to mark them for what they were and to make the smooth-shaven Seldon nip a little uncomfortable when surrounded by a conclave of them.Actually the most characteristic thing of all was the cap each wore (perhaps even when asleep, Seldon thought). Square, it was made of a velvety material, in four separate that came together with a button at the top. The caps came in an endless florilegium of colors and apparently each color had significance. If you were familiar with Librarian lore, you could tell a particular Librarians length of service, area of expertise, grades of accomplishment, and so on. They easeed bushel a pecking order. Every Librarian could, by a glance at anothers hat, tell whether to be respectful (and to what degree) or overbearing (and to what degree).The Galactic Library was the largest adept structure on Trantor (possibly in the Galaxy), much larger than even the Imperial Palace, and it had once gleamed and glittered, as though boasting of its size and magnificence. However, like the Empire itself, it had faded and withered. It was like an old dowager still wearing the jewels of her youth but upon a body that was wrinkled and wattled.The skitter stopped in anterior of the ornate doorway of the Chief Librarians office and Seldon climbed out.Las Zenow smiled as he greeted Seldon. Welcome, my friend, he said in his high-pitched voice. (Seldon wondered if he had ever sung tune in his younger days but had never dared to ask. The Chief Librarian was a compound of dignity always and the indecision might have seemed offensive.)Greetings, said Seldon. Zenow had a gray beard, rather more than halfway to white, and he wore a pure white hat. Seldon understood that without any explanation. It was a fiber of reverse ostentation. The total absence of color represented the highest peak of position.Zen ow rubbed his hands with what seemed to be an inner glee. Ive called you in, Hari, because Ive got good news for you. Weve found itBy it, Las, you mean-A competent world. You wanted one far out. I think weve fit(p) the conceitl one. His smile broadened. You just leave it to the Library. Hari. We can find anything.I have no doubt, Las. Tell me about this world.Well, let me show you its office first. A section of the wall slid aside, the lights in the room dimmed, and the Galaxy appeared in three-dimensional form, turning slowly. Again, red lines marked off the Province of Anacreon, so that Seldon could almost swear that the episode with the three men had been a rumor for this.And then a brilliant blue dot appeared at the far end of the province. There it is, said Zenow. Its an ideal world. Sizable, well-watered, good oxygen atmosphere, vegetation, of course. A great deal of sea life. Its there just for the taking. No planet-molding or terraforming required-or, at least, none tha t cannot be done while it is rattling occupied.Seldon said, Is it an spare world, Las?Absolutely unoccupied. No one on it. barely why-if its so suitable? I presume that, if you have all the details about it, it must have been explored. wherefore wasnt it colonized?It was explored, but only by faze probes. And there was no colonization-presumably because it was so far from everything. The planet revolves around a star that is farther from the central black hole than that of any inhabit planet-farther by far. Too far, I suppose, for prospective colonists, but I think not too far for you. You said, The farther, the better. Yes, said Seldon, nodding. I still say so. Does it have a name or is there just a letter-number combination?Believe it or not, it has a name. Those who sent out the probes named it Terminus, an out of date word meaning the end of the line. Which it would seem to be.Seldon said, Is the world part of the land of the Province of Anacreon?Not really, said Zenow. I f youll study the red line and the red shading, you will see that the blue dot of Terminus lies slightly out-of-door it-fifty light-years outside it, in fact. Terminus belongs to nobody its not even part of the Empire, as a matter of fact.Youre right, then, Las. It does seem like the ideal world Ive been looking for.Of course, said Zenow thoughtfully, once you occupy Terminus, I imagine the Governor of Anacreon will claim it as being under his jurisdiction.Thats practicable, said Seldon, but well have to deal with that when 1 he matter comes up.Zenow rubbed his hands again. What a glorious conception. Setting up a big project on a brand-new world, far away and entirely isolated, so that year by year and decade by decade a huge Encyclopedia of all human knowledge can be put together. An epitome of what is present in this Library. If I were only younger, I would write out to join the expedition.Seldon said sadly, Youre almost twenty years younger than I am. (Almost everyone is far younger than I am, he thought, even more sadly.)Zenow said, Ah yes, I heard that you just passed your seventieth birthday. I hope you enjoyed it and celebrated appropriately.Seldon stirred. I dont celebrate my birthdays.Oh, but you did. I remember the famous story of your sixtieth birthday.Seldon felt the pain, as deeply as though the dearest impairment in all the world had taken place the day before. enrapture dont talk about it, he said.Abashed, Zenow said, Im sorry. Well talk about something else. If, indeed, Terminus is the world you want, I imagine that your work on the preliminaries to the Encyclopedia Project will be redoubled. As you know, the Library will be glad to help you in all respects.Im aware of it, Las, and I am endlessly grateful. We will, indeed, advance working.He rose, not yet able to smile after the calculative pang induced by the reference to his birthday celebration of ten years back. He said, So I must go to continue my labors.And as he left, he felt, as always, a pang of conscience over the deceit he was practicing. Las Zenow did not have the slightest idea of Seldons true intentions.3Hari Seldon surveyed the comfortable suite that had been his soulfulnessal office at the Galactic Library these past few years. It, like the rest of the Library, had a unsung air of decay about it, a kind of weariness-something that had been too long in one place. And yet Seldon knew it might remain here, in the alike place, for centuries more-with judicious rebuildings-for millennia even.How did he come to be here?Over and over again, he felt the past in his mind, ran his mental tendrils along the line of development of his life. It was part of growing older, no doubt. There was so much more in the past, so much less in the future, that the mind turned away from the looming shadow ahead to contemplate the safety of what had gone before.In his case, though, there was that change. For over thirty years psychohistory had developed in what might a lmost be considered a straight line-progress creepingly slow but moving straight ahead. Then six years ago there had been a right-angled turn-totally unexpected.And Seldon know exactly how it had happened, how a concatenation of events came together to make it possible.It was Wanda, of course, Seldons granddaughter. Hari closed his eyes and settled into his chair to review the events of six years before.Twelve-year-old Wanda was bereft. Her mother, Manella, had had another child, another little girl, Bellis, and for a time the new baby was a total preoccupation.Her father, Raych, having finished his book on his station sector of Dahl, found it to be a minor success and himself a minor celebrity. He was called upon to talk on the subject, something he accepted with alacrity, for he was fiercely absorbed in the subject and, as he said to Hari with a grin, When I talk about Dahl, I dont have to obnubilate my Dahlite accent. In fact, the public expects it of me.The net result, though, was that he was away from home a considerable amount of time and when he wasnt, it was the baby he wanted to see.As for Dors-Dors was gone-and to Hari Seldon that wound was ever-fresh, ever-painful. And he had reacted to it in an unfortunate manner. It had been Wandas dream that had set in motion the current of events that had ended with the loss of Dors.Wanda had had nothing to do with it-Seldon knew that very well. And yet he found himself shrinking from her, so that he also failed her in the crisis brought about by the birth of the new baby.And Wanda wandered disconsolately to the one person who always seemed glad to see her, the one person she could always count on. That WAS Yugo Amaryl, second only to Hari Seldon in the development of psychohistory and first in his absolute round-the-clock devotion to it. Hari had had Dors and Raych, but psychohistory was Yugos life he had no wife and children. Yet whenever Wanda came into his presence, something within him recognized her as a child and he dimly felt-for just that moment-a sense of loss that seemed to be assuaged only by showing the child affection. To be sure, he tended to delicacy her as a rather undersized adult, but Wanda seemed to like that.It was six years ago that she had wandered into Yugos office. Yugo looked up at her with his owlish reconstituted eyes and, as usual, took a moment or two to recognize her.Then he said, Why, its my dear friend Wanda. But why do you look so sad? Surely an attractive young woman like you should never intent sad.And Wanda, her lower lip trembling, said, Nobody venerates me.Oh come, thats not true.They just love that new baby. They dont care about me anymore.I love you, Wanda.Well, youre the only one then, Uncle Yugo. And even though she could no longer crawl onto his lap as she had when she was younger, she cradled her head on his shoulder and wept.Amaryl, totally unaware of what he should do, could only hug the girl and say, Dont cry. Dont cry. And out of sheer sympathy and because he had so little in his own life to weep about, he found that tears were trickling down his own cheeks as well.And then he said with sudden energy, Wanda, would you like to see something pretty?What? sniffled Wanda.Amaryl knew only one thing in life and the Universe that was pretty. He said, Did you ever see the strand Radiant?No. What is it?Its what your grandfather and I use to do our work. converge? Its right here.He pointed to the black cube on his desk and Wanda looked at it woefully. Thats not pretty, she said.Not now, agreed Amaryl. But watch when I turn it on.He did so. The room darkened and filled with dots of light and flashes of different colors. See? flat we can magnify it so all the dots become mathematical symbols.And so they did. There seemed a rush of material toward them and there, in the air, were signs of all sorts, letters, numbers, arrows, and shapes that Wanda had never seen before.Isnt it pretty? asked Amaryl.Yes, it is, said Wanda, st aring carefully at the equations that (she didnt know) represented possible futures. I dont like that part, though. I think its wrong. She pointed at a bleached equation to her left.Wrong? Why do you say its wrong said Amaryl, frowning.Because its not pretty. Id do it a different way.Amaryl cleared his throat. Well, Ill try to fix it up. And he moved closer to the equation in question, staring at it in his owlish fashion.Wanda said, Thank you very much, Uncle Yugo, for showing me your pretty lights. Maybe someday Ill understand what they mean.Thats all right, said Amaryl. I hope you feel better.A little, thanks, and, after flashing the briefest of smiles, she left the room.Amaryl stood there, feeling a slightness hurt. He didnt like having the Prime Radiants product criticized-not even by a twelve-year-old girl who knew no better.And as he stood there, he had no idea whatsoever that the psychohistorical revolution had begun.4That afternoon Amaryl went to Hari Seldons office at Str eeling University. That in itself was unusual, for Amaryl virtually never left his own office, even to speak with a colleague just down the hall.Hari, said Amaryl, frowning and looking puzzled. Something very odd has happened. Very peculiar.Seldon looked at Amaryl with deepest sorrow. He was only fifty-three, but he looked much older, bent, worn down to almost transparency. When forced, he had undergone doctors examinations and the doctors had all recommended that he leave his work for a period of time (some said permanently) and rest. Only this, the doctors said, might improve his health. Otherwise-Seldon shook his head. Take him away from his work and hell die all the sooner-and unhappier. We have no choice.And then Seldon realized that, lost in such thoughts, he was not hearing Amaryl speak.He said, Im sorry, Yugo. Im a little distracted. Begin again.Amaryl said, Im telling you that something very odd has happened. Very peculiar.What is it, Yugo?It was Wanda. She came in to see m e-very sad, very upset.Why?Apparently its the new baby.Oh yes, Hari said with more than a trace of guilt in his voice.So she said and cried on my shoulder-I actually cried a bit, too, Hari. And then I thought Id cheer her up by showing her the Prime Radiant. Here Amaryl hesitated, as if choosing his next words carefully.Go on, Yugo. What happened?Well, she stared at all the lights and I magnified a portion, actually atom 428254. Youre acquainted with that?Seldon smiled. No, Yugo, I havent memorized the equations quite as well as you have.Well, you should, said Amaryl severely. How can you do a good job if-But never mind that. What Im trying to say is that Wanda pointed to a part of it and said it was no good. It wasnt pretty. Why not? We all have our personal likes and dislikes.Yes, of course, but I brooded about it and I spent some time going over it and, Hari, there was something wrong with it. The programming was inexact and that area, the precise area to which Wanda pointed, wa s no good. And, really, it wasnt pretty.Seldon sat up rather stiffly, frowning. Let me get this straight, Yugo. She pointed to something at random, said it was no good, and she was right?Yes. She pointed, but it wasnt at random she was very deliberate.But thats impossible.But it happened. I was there.Im not saying it didnt happen. Im saying it was just a excited coincidence.Is it? Do you think, with all your knowledge of psychohistory, you could take one glance at a new set of equations and tell me that one portion is no good?Seldon said, Well then, Yugo, how did you come to expand that particular portion of the equations? What made you choose that piece for magnification?Amaryl shrugged. That was coincidence-if you like. I just fiddled with the controls.That couldnt be coincidence, muttered Seldon. For a few moments he was lost in thought, then he asked the question that pushed forward the psychohistorical revolution that Wanda had begun.He said, Yugo, did you have any suspicions about those equations beforehand? Did you have any reason to believe there was something wrong with them?Amaryl fiddled with the window sash of his unisuit and seemed embarrassed. Yes, I think I did. You see-You think you did?I know I did. I seemed to recall when I was setting it up-its a new section, you know-my fingers seemed to bug on the programmer. It looked all right then, but I guess I kept worrying about it inside. I remember thinking it looked wrong, but I had other things to do and I just let it go. But then when Wanda happened to point to precisely the area I had been concerned about, I decided to check up on her-otherwise I would just have let it go as a childish statement.And you turned on that very fragment of the equations to show Wanda. As though it were haunting your unconscious(p) mind.Amaryl shrugged. Who knows?And just before that, you were very close together, hugging, both crying.Amaryl shrugged again, looking even more embarrassed.Seldon said, I think I kn ow what happened, Yugo. Wanda read your mind.Amaryl jumped, as though he had been bitten. Thats impossibleSlowly Seldon said, I once knew someone who had unusual mental powers of that sort-and he thought sadly of Eto Demerzel or, as Seldon had secretly known him, Daneel-only he was somewhat more than human. But his ability to read minds, to sense other peoples thoughts, to persuade people to act in a certain way-that was a mental ability. I think, somehow, that perhaps Wanda has that ability as well.I cant believe it, said Amaryl stubbornly.I can, said Seldon but I dont know what to do about it. Dimly lie felt the rumblings of a revolution in psychohistorical research-but only dimly.