Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Forward the Foundation Chapter 26

16Raych, Manella, and footling Bellis were waiting at the spaceport.The hypership was preparing for lift attain and the unitary-third had already checked their baggage.Raych say, Dad, coiffure a enormous with us.Seldon shook his head. I undersur salutet non.If you wobble your capitulum, we gravel up out always study a place for you.I receipt it, Raych. Weve been to modelher for al roughly forty years-and theyve been veracious years. Dors and I were lucky to pay bet on you.Im the lucky one. His eyes filled with tears. Dont see I dont esteem of scram e precise day.Yes. Seldon depended away miserably. Wanda was playing with Bellis when the c completely rang off for everyone to maturate the hypership.They did, after a tearful last kiss of Wanda by her pargonnts. Raych looked back to wave at Seldon and to try to plant a crooked smile on his face.Seldon waved and one hand moved out blindly to embrace Wandas shoulders.She was the exactly one left. One by one through his long life, he had lost his friends and those he had loved. Demerzel had left, never to re counter whiled emperor thatterfly Cleon was at peace(p) his beloved Dors was gone his faithful friend Yugo Amaryl was gone and directly Raych, his exclusively son, was gone as well.He was left only with Wanda.11Hari Seldon express, It is lovely outside(a)-a marvelous evening. Considering that we live to a lower place a loft, you would think we would control f zephyr weather worry this every evening.Wanda verbalise indifferently, We would grow tired of it, grandpa, if it were exquisite all the time. A little change from night to night is good for us.For you, because youre young, Wanda. You give way hu gay beingsy, whiley evenings ahead of you. I dont. I inadequacy more than good ones.Now, Grandpa, youre not doddering. Your leg is doing well and your mind m as sharp as ever. I know. Sure. Go ahead. Make me feel better. He then state with an air of discomfort, I demand to travel. I want to sound out of this tiny apartwork forcet and induce a walk to the program library and enjoy this beautiful evening.What do you want at the Library?At the mo workforcet, slide fasdecadeer. I want the walk. just nowYes. and?I promised Raych I wouldnt go walking around Trantor without a bodyguard.Raych isnt here.I know, mumbled Seldon but a promise is a promise.He didnt say who the bodyguard should be, did he? Lets go for a walk and Ill be your bodyguard.You? Seldon grinned.Yes, me. I hereby volunteer my services. shorten yourself ready and well go for a walk.Seldon was amused. He had half a mind to go without his cleare, breachce his leg was scarcely painful of late, but, on the an some other(prenominal) hand, he had a new plundere, one in which the head had been filled with lead. It was both heavier and stronger than his overaged brush offe and, if he was handout to keep none other than Wanda as a bodyguard, he sentiment he had better acquire hi s new cane.The walk was delightful and Seldon was terribly glad he had presumptuousness in to the temptation-until they reached a certain spot.Seldon lifted his cane in a mixture of anger and re scoreation and tell, Look at thatWanda lifted her eyes. The bonce was glowing, as it always did in the evening, in order to lend an air of scratch line twilight. It grew darker as night went on, of course.What Seldon was pointing at, however, was a strip of darkness on the dome. A section of lights had gone out.Seldon say, When I first came to Trantor, anything kindred that was unthinkable. thither were mint tending the lights at all times. The urban center worked, but now it is falling apart in all these little ways and what bothers me most is that no one c ars. wherefore atomic number 18nt on that point petitions to the Imperial Palace? wherefore arnt at that place meetings of indignation? It is as though the people of Trantor expect the city to be falling apart and then the y find themselves annoyed with me because I am pointing out that this is exactly what is playing.Wanda verbalise softly, Grandpa, there are cardinal men toilet us.They had walked into the shadows beneath the broken dome lights and Seldon asked, Are they on the nose walking?No. Wanda did not look at them. She did not have to. Theyre after you.Can you cube them- wedge them?Im trying, but there are devil and they are determined. Its-its like energy a wall.How far behind me are they?About three molaritys.Closing in?Yes, Grandpa.Tell me when theyre a meter behind me. He slid his hand down his cane work on he was holding the thin end, leaving the leaded head swinging free.Now, Grandpa hissed Wanda.And Seldon morose, swinging his cane. It came down heavy(a) upon the shoulder of one of the men behind him, who went down with a scream, writhing on the pavement.Seldon said, Wheres the other guy?He to a faultk off.Seldon looked down on the man on the ground and order his metrical foot on his chest. He said, Go through his pockets, Wanda. Someone must have paid him and Id like to find his credit file-perhaps I can reveal where they came from. He added belieffully, I meant to hit him on the head.Youd have killed him, Grandpa.Seldon nodded. Its what I valued to do. Rather shameful. Im lucky I missed.A harsh voice said, What is all this? A figure in uniform came figure outning up, perspiring. Give me that cane, youOfficer, said Seldon mildly.You can give me your story later. Weve got to call an ambulance for this poor man.Poor man, said Seldon angrily. He was going to polish me. I acted in self-defense.I saw it happen, said the security ships officer. This guy never laid a sense on you. You turned on him and struck him without provocation. Thats not self-defense. Thats assault and battery.Officer, Im verbalize you that-Dont tell me anything. You can tell it in court.Wanda said in a sweet delicate voice, Officer, if you will just listen to us-The offi cer said, You go along home, young lady.Wanda drew herself up. I most certainly wont, Officer. Where my granddaddy goes, there go I. Her eyes flashed and the security officer muttered, substantially, come along, then.18Seldon was enraged. Ive never been in custody forrader in my entire life. A couple of months ago octonary men assaulted me. I was able to fighting them off with the help of my son, but while that was going on was there a security officer in sight? Did people stop to help me? No. This time, Im better prepared and I knocked a man flat who had been about to assault me. Was there a security officer in sight? Absolutely. She do the collar on me. There were people watching, too, and they were amused at seeing an old man being taken in for assault and battery. What kind of world do we live on?Civ Novker, Seldons lawyer, sighed and said calmly, A corrupt world, but dont worry. Nothing will happen to you. Ill get you out on bail and then, eventually, youll come back fo r run before a control panel of your peers and the most youll get-the very most-are about hard words from the bench. Your age and your reputation-Forget my reputation, said Seldon, still angry. Im a psychohistorian and, at the present time, that is a dirty word. Theyll be glad to see me in jail.No, they wont, said Novker. There may be some screwballs who have it in for you, but Ill see to it that none of them gets on the jury.Wanda said, Do we really have to subject my grandfather to all this? Hes not a young man anymore. Cant we just appear before the magistrate and not bother with a jury trial?The lawyer turned to her. It can be done. If youre insane, maybe. Magistrates are enthusiastic power-mad people who would just as soon put a individual into jail for a year as listen to him. No one goes up before a magistrate.I think we should, said Wanda.Seldon said, Well now, Wanda, I think we ought to listen to Civ- But as he said that, he felt a strong churning in his abdomen. It wa s Wandas push. Seldon said, Well-if you insist.She cant insist, said the lawyer. I wont allow it.Wanda said, My grandfather is your client. If he wants something done his way, youve got to do it.I can refuse to represent him.Well then, leave, said Wanda sharply, and well face the magistrate alone.Novker thought and said, Very well, then-if youre going to be so adamant. Ive represented Hari for years and I ideate I wont abandon him now. But I warn you, the chances are hell get a jail sentence and Ill have to work like the devil to get it lifted-if I can do it.at all.Im not afraid, said Wanda.Seldon bit his lip and the lawyer turned to him. What about you? Are you volition to let your granddaughter call the shots?Seldon thought a bit, then admitted, much to the old lawyers surprise, Yes. Yes, I am.19The magistrate looked sourly at Seldon as he gave his story.The magistrate said, What makes you think it was the intention of this man you struck to attack you? Did he strike you? Did he threaten you? Did he in any way place you under bodily fear?My granddaughter was aware of his approach and was quite certain that he was planning to attack me.Surely, sir, that cannot be enough. Is there anything else you can tell me before I pass judgment?Well now, wait a while, said Seldon indignantly. Dont pass judgment so quickly. I was assaulted a few weeks ago by eight men whom I held off with the help of my son. So, you see, I have reason to think that I might be assaulted once more.The magistrate shuffled his papers. Assaulted by eight men. Did you report that?There were no security officers around. Not one. divagation from the point. Did you report it?No, sir. Why not?For one thing, I was afraid of getting into long drawn-out legal proceedings. Since we had driven off eight men and were safe, it calculateed useless to ask for more trouble.How did you manage to ward off eight men just you and your son?Seldon hesitated. My son is now on Santanni and outside Trantorian con trol. Thus, I can tell you that he had Dahlite knives and was expert in their use. He killed one man and gloomyly hurt two others. The rest ran, carrying off the dead and wounded.But did you not report the death of a man and the wounding of two others?No, sir. Same reason as before. And we fought in self-defense. However, if you can track down the three dead and wounded, you will have manifest that we were attacked.The magistrate said, Track down one dead and two wounded strange faceless Trantorians? Are you aware that on Trantor over two megabyte people are found dead every day-by knife wounds alone. Unless these things are reported to us at one time, we are helpless. Your story of being assaulted once before will not hold water. What we must do is mountain with the events of today, which were reported and which had a security officer as a witness.So, lets interpret the situation as of now. Why do you think the fellow was going to attack? Simply because you happened to be pa ssing by? Because you seemed old and nude? Because you looked like you might be carrying a great deal of ascribe? What do you think?I think, Magistrate, it was because of who I am.The magistrate looked at his papers. You are Hari Seldon, a professor and a scholar. Why should that make you subject to assault, particularly?Because of my views.Your views. Well- The magistrate shuffled some papers perfunctorily. Suddenly he stopped and looked up, peering at Seldon. Wait-Hari Seldon. A look of recognition spread across his face. Youre the psychohistory buff, arent you?Yes, Magistrate.Im sorry. I dont know anything about it buy food the name and the fact that you go around predicting the end of the pudding stone or something like that.Not quite, Magistrate. But my views have become unpopular because they are proving to be true. I believe it is for that reason that there are those who want to assault me or, even more likely, are being paid to assault me.The magistrate stared at Seldon and then called over the finding security officer. Did you check up on the man who was hurt? Does he have a record book?The security officer cleared her throat. Yes, sir. Hes been arrested several times. Assault, mugging.Oh, hes a repeat offender, is he? And does the professor have a record?No, sir.So we have an old and innocent man fighting off a known mugger-and you arrest the old and innocent man. Is that it?The security officer was silent.The magistrate said, You may go, Professor.Thank you, sir. whitethorn I have my cane?The magistrate snapped his fingers at the officer, who handed over the cane.But one thing, Professor, said the magistrate. If you use that cane again, you had better be perfectly certain you can prove it was in self-defense. Otherwise-Yes, sir. And Hari Seldon left the magistrates chambers, leaning severely on his cane but with his head held high.20Wanda was crying bitterly, her face wet with tears, her eyes red, her cheeks swollen.Hari Seldon hovered over her, patting her on the back, not knowing quite how to comfort her.Grandpa, Im a miserable failure. I thought I could push people and I could when they didnt mind being pushed too much, like momma and Dad-and even then it took a long time. I even worked out a rating system of sorts, based on a ten-point scale-sort of a mental pushing power gauge. Only I assumed too much. I assumed that I was a ten, or at least a nine. But now I realize that, at most, I rate a seven.Wandas crying had stopped and she sniffed occasionally as Hari stroked her hand. Usually-usually-I have no trouble. If I concentrate, I can hear peoples thoughts and when I want, I push them. But those muggers I could hear them all right, but there was energy I could do to push them away.I thought you did very well, Wanda.I didnt. I had a fan-fantasy. I thought people would come up behind you and in one mighty push Id drive them flying. That way I was going to be your bodyguard. Thats why I offered to be your bod-bodyg uard. Only I wasnt. Those two guys came up and I couldnt do a thing.But you could. You made the first man hesitate. That gave me a chance to turn and clobber him.No no. I had cypher to do with it. every last(predicate) I could do was warn you he was there and you did the rest.The second man ran away.Because you clobbered the first guy. I had nothing to do with it. She broke out again in tears of frustration. And then the magistrate. I insisted on the magistrate. I thought I would push and he would let you go at once.He did let me go and it was practically at once.No. He put you through a miserable routine and saw the light only when he realized who you were. I had nothing to do with it. I flopped everywhere. I could have gotten you into so much trouble.No, I refuse to accept that, Wanda. If your pushing didnt work quite as well as you had hoped it would, it was only because you were on the job(p) under emergency conditions. You couldnt have helped it. But, Wanda, look-I have an i dea.Catching the excitement in his voice, she looked up. What kind of idea, Grandpa?Well, its like this, Wanda. You probably realize that Ive got to have credits. Psychohistory evidently cant continue without it and I cannot break the thought of having it all come to nothing after so many years of hard work.I cant bear it, either. But how can we get the credits?Well, Im going to request an hearing with the Emperor again. Ive seen him once already and hes a good man and I like him. But hes not exactly drowning in wealth. However, if I take you with me and if you push him-gently-it may be that he will find a source of credits, some source somewhere, and keep me going for a while, till I can think of something else.Do you really think it will work, Grandpa?Not without you. But with you-maybe. Come, isnt it worth trying?Wanda smiled. You know Ill do anything you ask, Grandpa. Besides, its our only hope.21It was not difficult to see the Emperor. Agiss eyes sparkled as he greeted Hari Seldon. Hello, old friend, he said. Have you come to bring me dingy luck?I hope not, said Seldon.Agis unhooked the elaborate cloak he was standing and, with a weary grunt, threw it into the corner of the room, saying, And you lie there.He looked at Seldon and shook his head. I hate that thing. Its as heavy as sin and as hot as blazes. I always have to wear it when Im being smothered under meaningless words, standing there estimable like a carved image. Its just plain horrible. Cleon was born to it and he had the appearance for it. I was not and I dont. Its just my misery that Im a third cousin of his on my mothers side so that I fitting as Emperor. Id be glad to sell it for a very small sum. Would you like to be Emperor, Hari?No no, I wouldnt dream of it, so dont get your hopes up, said Seldon, laughing.But tell me, who is this extraordinarily beautiful young charr you have brought with you today?Wanda flushed and the Emperor said genially, You mustnt let me impede you, my dea r. One of the few perquisites** an Emperor possesses is the right to say anything he chooses. No one can object or argue about it. They can only say, Sire. However, I dont want any Sires from you. I hate that word. entreat me Agis. That is not my birth name, either. Its my Imperial name and Ive got to get used to it. So tell me whats doing, Hari. Whats been happening to you since the last time we met?Seldon said briefly, Ive been attacked twice.The Emperor didnt seem to be sure whether this was a joke or not. He said, double? Really?The Emperors face darkened as Seldon told the story of the assaults. I suppose there wasnt a security officer around when those eight men threatened you.Not one.The Emperor rose from his chair and gestured at the other two to keep theirs. He walked back and forth, as though he were trying to work off some anger. Then he turned and faced Seldon.For thousands of years, he began, whenever something like this happened, people would say, Why dont we appeal t o the Emperor? or Why doesnt the Emperor do something? And, in the end, the Emperor can do something and does do something, even if it isnt always the intelligent thing to do. But I Hari, Im powerless. Absolutely powerless.Oh yes, there is the so-called Commission of Public Safety, but they seem more concerned with my safety than that of the public. Its a wonder were having this audience at all, for you are not at all popular with the Commission.Theres nothing I can do about anything. Do you know whats happened to the term of the Emperor since the fall of the junta and the restoration of-hah-Imperial power?I think I do.Ill bet you dont-fully. Weve got democracy now. Do you know what democracy is?Certainly.Agis frowned. He said, Ill bet you think its a good thing.I think it can be a good thing.Well, there you are. It isnt. Its completely upset the Empire. recollect I want to order more officers onto the streets of Trantor. In the old days, I would pull over a piece of paper prepare d for me by the Imperial Secretary and would sign it with a flourish-and there would be more security officers.Now I cant do anything of the sort. I have to put it before the legislature. There are seventy-five 100 men and women who in a flash turn into uncounted gaggles of geese the instant a suggestion is made. In the first place, where is the funding to come from? You cant have, say, ten thousand more officers without having to pay ten thousand more salaries. Then, even if you agreed to something of the sort, who selects the new security officers? Who controls them?The Legislature shouts at each other, argues, thunders, and lightens, and in the end-nothing is done. Hari, I couldnt even do as small a thing as fix the broken dome lights you noticed. How much will it cost? Whos in charge? Oh, the lights will be fixed, but it can easily take a few months to do it. Thats democracy.Hari Seldon said, As I recall, the Emperor Cleon was forever complaining that he could not do what he wished to do.The Emperor Cleon, said Agis impatiently, had two first-class source Ministers-Demerzel and yourself-and you each labored to keep Cleon from doing anything foolish. I have seventy-five hundred First Ministers, all of whom are foolish from start to finish. But surely, Hari, you havent come to complain to me about the attacks.No, I havent. Something much worse. Sire-Agis-I need credits.The Emperor stared at him. After what Ive been telling you, Hari? I have no credits. Oh yes, therere credits to run this establishment, of course, but in order to get them I have to face my seventy-five hundred legislators. If you think I can go to them and say, I want credits for my friend, Hari Seldon and if you think Ill get one quarter of what I ask for in anything less than two years, youre crazy. It wont happen.He shrugged and said, more gently, Dont get me wrong, Hari. I would like to help you if I could. I would particularly like to help you for the sake of your granddaughter. Look ing at her makes me feel as though I should give you all the credits you would like-but it cant be done.Seldon said, Agis, if I dont get funding, psychohistory will go down the drain-after nearly forty years.Its come to nothing in nearly forty years, so why worry?Agis, said Seldon theres nothing more I can do now. The assaults on me were but because Im a psychohistorian. People consider me a predictor of destruction.The Emperor nodded. Youre bad luck, Raven Seldon. I told you this earlier.Seldon stood up wretchedly. Im through, then.Wanda stood, too, next to Seldon the top of her head stretch her grandfathers shoulder. She gazed fixedly at the Emperor.As Hari turned to go, the Emperor said, Wait. Wait. Theres a little verse I once memorized Ill fares the landTo hastening ills a fertiliseWhere wealth accumulatesAnd men decay. What does it mean? asked a dispirited Seldon.It means that the Empire is steadily deteriorating and falling apart, but that doesnt keep some individuals from growing rich. Why not turn to some of our wealthy entrepreneurs? They dont have legislators and can, if they wish, simply sign a credit voucher.Seldon stared. Ill try that.

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