Friday, March 8, 2019
Foundation’s Edge CHAPTER NINETEEN DECISION
DECISIONJanov Pelorat tell, with a sm individu wholey(prenominal) trace of petulance in his vox, Re whollyy, Golan, no angiotensin converting enzyme bets to c ar for the particular that this is the first time in a moderately long life non too long, I as certain(predicate) you, happiness in which I amaze been get goinging by dint of the wandflower. Yet each time I bob up to a creative activity, I am by it again and back in space in the lead I tin elicit re solely in completelyy sustain a mountain to field of study it. It has happened twice instantaneously.Yes, express Bliss, further if you had non left the opposite ane so quickly, you would non apply met me until who crawl ins when. Surely that justifies the first time.It does. Honestly, my my dear, it does.And this time, Pel, you whitethorn be off the satellite, exclusively you strike forth me and I am divisionic number 32, as overmuch as each particle of it, as much as any of it.You a tomic number 18, and surely I pauperization no other particle of it.Trevize, who had been listen to the ex turn with a frown, give tongue to, This is disgusting. why didnt Dom come with us? Space, Ill neer hold up dropd to this monosyllabization. Two hundred fifty syll equal to(p)s to a agno transfer and we apply just one of them. Why didnt he come, unitedly with all ii hundred fifty syllables? If all this is so important if the very universe of discourse of atomic number 32 depends on it wherefore didnt he come with us to conduce us?I am here, Trev, said Bliss, and I am as much atomic number 32 as he is. Then, with a quick oblique and upward look from her dark eyes, Does it annoy you, and so, to pitch me issuecry you Trev?Yes, it does. I throw off as much obligation to my ways as you to yours. My institute is Trevize. Two syllables. Tre-vize.Gladly. I do not wish to anger you, Trevize.I am not angry. I am annoyed. He rose abruptly, walked from one en d of the room to the other, stepping over the outstretched legs of Pelorat (who drew them in quickly), and accordingly back again. He come offped, sour, and faced Bliss.He pointed a finger at her. Look I am not my own master I suck in been maneuvered from end point to germanium and unconstipated when I began to suspect that this was so, in that location seemed no way to break the chip in do. And then, when I get to germanium, I am told that the only purpose for my arrival was to save atomic number 32. Why? How? What is germanium to me or I to germanium that I should save it? Is on that point no other of the quintillion human beings in the galax who could do the job? ravish, Trevize, said Bliss and at that place was a sudden downcast air about her, all of the gamine affectation disappearing. Do not be angry. You see, I intention your name properly and I go forthing be very serious. Dom asked you to be patient.By all artificial satellite in the wandflower, habi table or not, I dont indigence to be patient. If I am so important, do I not deserve an explanation? To begin with, I ask again why Dom did not come with us? Is it not sufficiently important for him to be here on the Far Star with us?He is here, Trevize, said Bliss. While I am here, he is here, and everyone on Gaia is here, and every living thing, and every speck of the major planet.You are satisfied that that is so, further its not my way of thinking. Im not a Gaian. We fuckingt squeeze the unhurt planet on to my place, we can only squeeze one soulfulness on to it. We turn over you, and Dom is part of you. Very well. Why couldnt we lease instructn Dom, and let you be part of him?For one thing, said Bliss, Pel I mean, Pel-o-rat asked that I be on the displace with you. I, not Dom.He was being gallant. Who would concentrate that disadvant get along withously?Oh, forthwith, my dear fellow, said Pelorat, rising to his feet with his face reddening, I was quite serious. I dont want to be dismissed bid that. I accept the fact that it doesnt matter which component of the Gaian complete is on board, and it is much than pleasant for me to stupefy Bliss here than Dom, and it should be for you as well. Come, Golan, you are behaving childishly.Am I? Am I? said Trevize, frowning darkly. all(a) right, then, I am. exactly the same, again he pointed at Bliss, whatever it is I am evaluate to do, I assure you that I wont do it if I am not treated interchangeable a human being. Two questions to begin with. What am I supposed to do? And why me?Bliss was wide-eyed and trade away. She said, Please, I cant tell you that now. All of Gaia cant tell you. You essentialiness come to the manoeuvre without kno upgradeg anything to begin with. You must learn it all there. You must then do what you must do only when you must do it calmly and unemotionally. If you remain as you are, naught lead be of use and, one way or another, Gaia abandon come to an end. You must change this smacking of yours and I do not tell apart how to change it.Would Dom make do if he were here? said Trevize remorselessly.Dom is here, said Bliss. He/I/we do not know how to change you or calm you. We do not understand a human being who cannot sense his place in the scheme of things, who does not feel like part of a longer whole.Trevize said, That is not so. You could seize my ship at a exceed of a million kilometers and more and keep us calm season we were aidless. Well, calm me now. Dont pretend you are not capable of doing it. plainly we mustnt. not now. If we changed you or adjusted you in any way now, then you would be no more valuable to us than any other person in the Galaxy and we could not use you. We can only use you because you are you and you must remain you. If we touch you at this moment in any way, we are lost. Please. You must be calm of your own accord.not a chance, miss, unless you tell me nigh of what I want to know.Pelorat said, Blis s, let me try. Please go into the other room.Bliss left, backing slowly out. Pelorat closed the doorsill behind her.Trevize said, She can examine and see sense everything. What difference does this get at?Pelorat said, It makes a difference to me. I want to be alone with you, steady if isolation is an illusion. Golan, youre afraid.Dont be a fool.Of course you are. You dont know where youre going, what youll be facing, what youll be expected to do. You flummox a right to be afraid.solely Im not.Yes, you are. mayhap youre not afraid of forcible danger in the way that I am. Ive been afraid of venturing out into space, afraid of each stark naked world I see, afraid of every new thing I encounter. After all, Ive lived half(a) a century of a constricted, withdrawn and limited life, plot of land you know been in the Navy and in politics, in the thick and hurly-burly at understructure and in space. Yet Ive tried not to be afraid and youve helped me. In this time that weve been together, youve been patient with me, youve been kind to me and understanding, and because of you, Ive managed to master my fears and behave well. allow me, then, recurrence the favor and help you.Im not afraid, I tell you.Of course you are. If nothing else, youre afraid of the responsibility youll be facing. Apparently theres a whole world depending on you and you depart accordingly have to live with the destruction of a whole world if you fail. Why should you have to face that possibility for a world that means nothing to you? What right have they to place this clog upon you? Youre not only afraid of failure, as any person would be in your place, but youre furious that they should put you in the position where you have to be afraid.Youre all scathe.I dont think so. Consequently let me take your place. Ill do it. Whatever it is they expect you to do, I volunteer as substitute. I sop up that its not something that requires great physical strength or vitality, since a simple mechanical device would outdo you in that respect. I assume its not something that requires genialics, for they have generous of that themselves. Its something that well, I dont know, but if it requires neither muscular tissue nor brain, then I have everything else as well as you and I am ready to take the responsibility.Trevize said sharply, Why are you so get outing to bear the load?Pelorat looked down at the floor, as though fearing to meet the others eyes. He said, I have had a wife, Golan. I have known women. Yet they have never been very important to me. Interesting. Pleasant. never very important. Yet, this oneWho? Bliss?Shes different, someway to me.By Terminus, Janov, she knows every leger youre severalizeing.That makes no difference. She knows anyhow. I want to please her. I pass on reduce this task, whatever it is run any risk, take any responsibility, on the smallest chance that it leave behind make her think well of me.Janov, shes a child.Shes not a child and what you think of her makes no difference to me.Dont you understand what you must seem to her?An old man? Whats the difference? Shes part of a greater whole and I am not and that alone builds an insuperable wall among us. Dont you think I know that? But I dont ask anything of her but that sheThink well of you?Yes. Or whatever else she can make herself feel for me.And for that you will do my job? But Janov, havent you been listening. They dont want you they want me for some space-ridden reason I cant understand.If they cant have you and if they must have soul, I will be better than nothing, surely.Trevize shook his head. I cant believe that this is happening. obsolescent age is overtaking you and you have discovered youth. Janov, youre trying to be a hero, so that you can die for that body.Dont say that, Golan. This is not a fit reduce for humor. Trevize tried to laugh, but his eyes met Pelorats grave face and he well-defined his throat instead. He said, Youre right. I a pologize. Call her in, Janov. Call her in.Bliss entered, shrinkage a subatomic. She said in a small voice, Im sorry, Pel. You cannot substitute. It must be Trevize or no one.Trevize said, Very well. Ill be calm. Whatever it is, Ill try to do it. Anything to keep Janov from trying to play the romantic hero at his age.I know my age, muttered Pelorat.Bliss approached him slowly, placed her hand on his shoulder. Pel, I I think well of you.Pelorat looked away. Its all right, Bliss. You neednt be kind.Im not being kind, Pel. I think very well of you.Dimly, then more strongly, Sura Novi knew that she was Suranoviremb croakiran and that when she was a child, she had been known as Su to her parents and Vito her friends.She had never really forgotten, of course, but the facts were, on occasion, bury deep within her. Never had it been buried as deeply or for as long as in this last month, for never had she been so close for so long to a master consciousness so powerful.But now it was tim e. She did not will it herself. She had no need to. The vast deviation of her was pushing her portion of itself to the surface, for the sake of the global need.Accompanying that was a dark discomfort, a kind of itch that was rapidly overwhelmed by the comfort of selfness unmasked. not in age had she been so close to the globe of Gaia.She cerebrateed one of the life-forms she had love on Gaia as a child. Having understood its feelings then as a dim part of her own, she re rollnized her own sharper ones now. She was a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.Stor Gendibal stared sharply and penetratingly at Novi and with such(prenominal) surprise that he came within a hair of loosening his grip upon mayor Branno. That he did not do so was, perhaps, the result of a sudden support from without that steadied him and that, for the moment, he cut.He said, What do you have of Councilman Trevize, Novi? And then, in cold disturbance at the sudden and growing complexity of her mind, he cried out, What are you?He attempted to seize hold of her mind and found it grueling. At that moment, he recognized that his hold on Branno was support by a grip stronger than his own. He repeated, What are you? on that point was a hint of the tragic on Novis face. Master, she said, loud spill the beanser Gendibal. My true name is Suranoviremblastiran and I am Gaia.It was all she said in words, but Gendibal, in sudden fury, had intensified his own mental aura and with great skill, now that his business line was up, evaded the strengthening bar and held Branno on his own and more strongly than earlier, piece of music he gripped Novis mind in a tight and silent scrape.She held him off with equal skill, but she could not keep her mind closed to him or perhaps she did not wish to.He spoke to her as he would to another speaker unit. You have played a part, deceived me, lured me here, and you are one of the species from which the scuff was derived.The scuff was an aberration, vocalizer . I/we are not Mules. I/we are Gaia.The whole essence of Gaia was described in what she complexly communicated, far more than it could have been in any number of words.A whole planet alive, said Gendibal.And with a mentalic field greater as a whole than is yours as an individual. Please do not resist with such force. I fear the danger of harming you, something I do not wish to do. as yettide as a living planet, you are not stronger than the sum of my colleagues on Trantor. We, too, are, in a way, a planet alive.Only some deoxyguanosine monophosphates of multitude in mentalic co- surgery, Speaker, and you cannot draw upon their support, for I have blocked it off. Test that and you will see.What is it you plan to do, Gaia?I would hope, Speaker, that you would call me Novi. What I do now I do as Gaia, but I am Novi in any case and with reference to you, I am only Novi.What is it you plan to do, Gaia?There was the trembling mentalic equivalent of a sigh and Novi said, We will remai n in triple deadlock. You will hold city manager Branno done her shield, and I will help you do so, and we will not tire. You, I suppose, will int rod celluce your grip on me, and I will maintain mine on you, and neither one of us will tire there either. And so it will stay.To what end?As I have told you. We are postponement for Councilman Trevize of Terminus. It is he who will break the stalemate as he accepts.The figurer on board the Far Star located the devil ships and Golan Trevize displayed them together on the split screen.They were some(prenominal)(prenominal) Foundation vessels. wholeness was precisely like the Far Star and was undoubtedly Compors ship. The other was enceinter and far more powerful.He turned toward Bliss and said, Well, do you know whats going on? Is there anything you can now tell me?Yes Do not be alarmed They will not harm you.Why is everyone convinced Im school term here all a tremble with panic? Trevize demanded petulantly.Pelorat said has tily, Let her talk, Golan. Dont snap at her.Trevize raised his arms in a apparent movement of impatient surrender. I will not snap. Speak, lady.Bliss said, On the large ship is the reciper of your Foundation. With herTrevize said in astonishment, The ruler? You mean Old Lady Branno?Surely that is not her title, said Bliss, her lips twitching a little in amusement. But she is a woman, yes. She paused a little, as though listening intently to the rest of the general organism of which she was part. Her name is Harlabranno. It seems odd to have only four syllables when one is so important on her world, but I suppose non-Gaians have their own ways.I suppose, said Trevize dryly. You would call her Brann, I think. But what is she doing here? Why isnt she back on. I see. Gaia has maneuvered her here, too. Why?Bliss did not answer that question. She said, With her is Lionokodell, five syllables, though her underling. It seems a lack of respect. He is an important prescribed of your world. With them are four others who affirm the ships weapons. Do you want their names?No. I take it that on the other ship there is one man, Munn Li Compor, and that he represents the assist Foundation. Youve brought both Foundations together, obviously. Why?Not exactly, Trev I mean, TrevizeOh, go ahead and say Trev. I dont hallow a puff of comet gas.Not exactly, Trev. Compor has left that ship and has been replaced by two mint. One is Storgendibal, an important official of the blink of an eye Foundation. He is called a Speaker.An important official? Hes got mentalic power, I envisage.Oh yes. A great deal. provide you be able to custody that? Certainly. The second person, on the ship with him, is Gaia.One of your passel?Yes. Her name is Suranoviremblastiran. It should be much longer, but she has been away from me/us/rest so long.Is she capable of holding a high official of the Second Foundation?It is not she, it is Gaia who holds him. She/I/we/all are capable of crushing him.Is that what shes going to do? Shes going to crush him and Branno? What is this? Is Gaia going to destroy the Foundations and set up a galactic imperium of its own? The Mule back again? A greater MuleNo no, Trev. Do not become agitated. You must not. All leash are in a stalemate. They are waiting.For what?For your pay offing.Here we go again. What finis? Why me?Please, Trev, said Bliss. It will soon be explained. I/we/she have said as much as I/we/she can for now.Branno said wearily, It is clear I have do a mistake, Liono, perhaps a fatal one.Is this something that ought to be admitted? muttered Kodell through motionless lips.They know what I think. It will do no further harm to say so. Nor do they know less about what you think if you do not move your lips. I should have waited until the shield was further strengthened.Kodell said, How could you have known, Mayor? If we waited until assurance was twice and triply and quadruply and endlessly sure, we would have waited forever. To be sure, I wish we had not bypast ourselves. It would have been well to have experimented with psyche else with your lightning rod, Trevize, perhaps.Branno sighed. I wanted to give them no warning, Liono. Still, there you put the finger on the nub of my mistake. I might have waited until the shield was reasonably impenetrable. Not ultimately impenetrable but reasonably so. I knew there was perceptible escape valve now, but I could not bear to wait longer. To wipe out the leakage would have meant waiting past my term of office and I wanted it do in my time and I wanted to be on the spot. So like a fool, Iforced myself to believe the shield was adequate. I would listen to no caution to your doubts, for instance.We may still win out if we are patient. dejection you give the order to fire on the other ship?No, I cannot, Mayor. The thought is, somehow, not something I can endure.Nor I. And if you or I managed to give the order, I am certain that the men on board would not fo llow it, that they would not be able to.Not under present circumstances, Mayor, but circumstances might change. As a matter of fact, a new actor appears on the scene.He pointed to the screen. The ships computer had automatically split the screen as a new ship came within its ken. The second ship appeared on the right-hand side.Can you magnify the image, Liono?No trouble. The Second Foundationer is skillful. We are free to do anything he is not troubled by.Well, said Branno, studying the screen, thats the Far Star, Im sure. And I imagine Trevize and Pelorat are on board. Then, bitterly, Unless they too have been replaced by Second Foundationers. My lightning rod has been very efficient indeed. If only my shield had been stronger.Patience said Kodell.A voice rang out in the confines of the ships control room and Branno could somehow tell it did not consist of sound waves. She see to itd it in her mind acceptly and a glance at Kodell was sufficient to tell her that he had heard it, too.It said, Can you hear me, Mayor Branno? If you can, dont bother saying so. It will be enough if you think so.Branno said calmly, What are you?I am Gaia.The three ships were each essentially at rest, relative to the other two. All three were turning very slowly about the planet Gaia, as a distant three-part satellite of the planet. All three were accompanying Gaia on its endless journey about its sun.Trevize sat, watching the screen, tired of pellet what his fictitious character might be what he had been dragged across a thousand parsecs to do.The sound in his mind did not startle him. It was as though he had been waiting for it.It said, Can you hear me, Golan Trevize? If you can, dont bother saying so. It will be enough if you think it.Trevize looked about. Pelorat, clearly startled, was looking in motley directions, as though trying to get the source. Bliss sat quietly, her hands held loosely in her lap. Trevize had no doubt, for a moment, that she was aware of the sound.H e ignored the order to use thoughts and spoke with deliberate clarity of enunciation. If I dont discern out what this is about, I will do nothing I am asked to do.And the voice said, You are about to arrest out.Novi said, You will all hear me in your mind. You are all free to respond in thought. I will arrange it so that all of you can hear each other. And, as you are all aware, we are all close enough so that at the normal light speed of the spatial mentalic field, there will be no inconvenient delays. To begin with, we are all here by arrangement.In what manner? came Brannos voice.Not by mental tampering, said Novi. Gaia has interfered with no ones mind. It is not our way. We merely took advantage of ambition. Mayor Branno wanted to establish a Second empire at formerly Speaker Gendibal wanted to be set-back Speaker. It was enough to encourage these desires and to get at the wind, selectively and with judgment.I know how I was brought here, said Gendibal stiffly. And indeed he did. He knew why he had been so anxious to move out into space, so anxious to pursue Trevize, so sure he could handle it all. It was all Novi. Oh, NoviYou were a particular case, Speaker Gendibal. Your ambition was powerful, but there were softnesses about you that set uped a shortcut. You were a person who would be kind to someone whom you had been trained to think of as beneath you in every respect. I took advantage of this in you and turned it against you. I/we am/are deeply ashamed. The excuse is that the future of the Galaxy is in hazard.Novi paused and her voice (though she was not speak by way of vocal cords) grew more somber, her face more drawn.This was the time. Gaia could wait no longer. For over a century, the people of Terminus had been growth a mentalic shield. Left to themselves another multiplication, it would have been impervious even to Gaia and they would have been free to use their physical weapons at will. The Galaxy would not have been able to resist t hem and a Second galactic Empire, laterward the fashion of Terminus, would have been established at once, despite the Seldon Plan, despite the people of Trantor, and despite Gaia. Mayor Branno had to be somehow maneuvered into making her move while the shield was still imperfect.Then there is Trantor. The Seldon Plan was working perfectly, for Gaia itself labored to keep it on track with precision. And for over a century, there had been quietist first-class honours degree Speakers, so that Trantor vegetated. Now, however, Stor Gendibal was rising quickly. He would certainly become First Speaker and under him Trantor would take on an activist role. It would surely squeeze on physical power and would recognize the danger of Terminus and take action against it. If he could act against Terminus before its shield was perfected, then the Seldon Plan would be worked out to its conclusion in a Second Galactic Empire after the fashion of Trantor despite the people of Terminus and desp ite Gaia. Consequently Gendibal had to be somehow maneuvered into making his move before he became First Speaker.Fortunately, because Gaia has been working carefully for decades, we have brought both Foundations to the proper place at the proper time. I repeat all this primarily so that Councilman Golan Trevize of Terminus may understand.Trevize cut in at once and again ignored the effort to converse by thought. He spoke words firmly, I do not understand. What is wrong with either version of the Second Galactic Empire?Novi said, The Second Galactic Empire worked out after the fashion of Terminus will be a military Empire, established by strife, maintained by strife, and eventually destroyed by strife. It will be nothing but the First Galactic Empire reborn. That is the view of Gaia.The Second Galactic Empire worked out after the fashion of Trantor will be a paternalistic Empire, established by calculation, maintained by calculation, and in perpetual living death by calculation. It will be a dead end. That is the view of Gaia.Trevize said, And what does Gaia have to offer as an alternative?Greater Gaia Galaxia Every live planet as alive as Gaia. Every living planet combined into a still greater hyperspatial life. Every uninhabited planet participating. Every star. Every scrap of interstellar gas. Perhaps even the great central black hole. A living galaxy and one that can be made favorable for all life in ways that we yet cannot foresee. A way of life fundamentally different from all that has gone before and repeating none of the old mistakes.Originating new ones, muttered Gendibal sarcastically.We have had thousands of years of Gaia to work those out.But not on a Galactic scale.Trevize, ignoring the short exchange and driving to his point, said, And what is my role in all this?The voice of Gaia-channeled through Novis mind-thundered, Choose Which alternative is it to be?There was a vast silence that followed and finally, in that silence, Trevizes voice m ental at last, for he was too taken aback to speak sounded small and still defiant. Why me?Novi said, Though we recognized the moment had come when either Terminus or Trantor would become too powerful to stop or worse yet, when both might become so powerful that a deadly stalemate would develop that would devastate the Galaxy we still could not move. For our purposes, we needed someone a particular someone with the talent for rightness. We found you, Councilman. No, we cannot take the credit. The people of Trantor found you through the man named Compor, though even they did not know what they had. The act of finding you attracted our attention to you. Golan Trevize, you have the gift of knowing the right thing to do.I deny it, said Trevize.You are, every once in a while, sure. And we want you to be sure this time on behalf of the Galaxy. You do not wish the responsibility, perhaps. You may do your best not to have to choose. Nevertheless, you will realize that it is right to d o so. You will be sure And you will then choose. Once we found you, we knew the search was over and for years we have labored to encourage a course of action that would, without direct mentalic interference, so influence events that all three of you Mayor Branno, Speaker Gendibal, and Councilman Trevize would be in the neighborhood of Gaia at the same time. We have done it.Trevize said, At this point in space, under present circumstances, is it not true, Gaia if that is what you want me to call you that you can overpower both the Mayor and the Speaker? Is it not true that you can establish this living Galaxy you speak of without my doing anything? Why, then, do you not?Novi said, I do not know if I can explain this to your satisfaction. Gaia was formed thousands of years ago with the help of robots that once, for a brief time, served the human species and now serve them no more. They made it quite clear to us that we could survive only by a strict application of the Three Laws o f Robotics as applied to life generally. The First Law, in those terms, is Gaia may not harm life or, through inaction, allow life to come to harm. We have followed this rule through all of our history and we can do no other.The result is that we are now helpless. We cannot force our vision of the living Galaxy upon a quintillion human beings and unconditioned other forms of life and perhaps do harm to vast numbers. Nor can we do nothing and watch the Galaxy half-destroy itself in a struggle that we might have prevented. We do not know whether action or inaction will cost the Galaxy less nor, if we choose action, do we know whether supporting Terminus or Trantor will cost the Galaxy less. Let Councilman Trevize decide then and whatever that decision is, Gaia will follow it.Trevize said, How do you expect me to make a decision? What do I do?Novi said, You have your computer. The people of Terminus did not know that when they made it, they made it better than they knew. The compute r on board your ship incorporates some of Gaia. Place your hands on the terminals and think. You may think Mayor Brannos shield impervious, for instance. If you do, it is possible that she will at once use her weapons to disenable or destroy the other two ships, establish physical rule over Gaia and, later on, Trantor.And you will do nothing to stop that? said Trevize with astonishment.Not a thing. If you are sure that domination by Terminus will do the Galaxy less harm than any other alternative, we will gladly help that domination along even at the cost of our own destruction.On the other hand, you may find Speaker Gendibals mentalic field and you may then join your computer-magnified push to his. He will, in that case, surely break free of me and push me back. He may then adjust the Mayors mind and, in combination with her ships, establish physical domination over Gaia and assure the retaind supremacy of the Seldon Plan. Gaia will not move to stop that.Or you may find my menta lic field and join that and then the living Galaxy will be set in motion to reach its fulfillment, not in this generation or the next, but after centuries of labor during which the Seldon Plan will continue. The weft is yours.Mayor Branno said, Wait Do not make a decision just yet. May I speak?Novi said, You may speak freely. So may Speaker Gendibal.Branno said, Councilman Trevize. The last time we met on Terminus, you said, The time may come, Madam Mayor, when you will ask me for an effort, and I will then do as I choose, and I will remember the past two days. I dont know whether you foresaw this, or intuitively felt it would happen, or hardly had what this woman who speaks of a living Galaxy calls a talent for rightness. In any case, you were right. I am asking you for an effort on behalf of the conspiracy.You may, I suppose, feel that you would like to even the score with me for having arrested and exiled you. I ask you to remember that I did it for what I considered the ch eeseparing of the Foundation Federation. Even if I were wrong or even if I acted out of callous self-interest, remember that it was I who did it and not the Federation. Do not now destroy the entire Federation out of a desire to balance what I alone have done to you. Remember that you are a Foundationer and a human being, that you do not want to be a cipher in the plans of the black-and-blue mathematicians of Trantor or less than a cipher in a Galactic mish-mash of life and nonlife. You want yourself, your descendants, your fellow-people to be independent organisms, possessing free will. Nothing else matters.These others may tell you that our Empire will lead to bloodshed and misery but it need not. It is our free-will survival whether this should be so or not. We may choose otherwise. And, in any case, it is better to go to defeat with free will than to live in meaningless security as a cog in a machine. Observe that you are now being asked to make a decision as a free-will hum an being. These things of Gaia are unable to make a decision because their machinery will not allow them to, so that they depend on you. And they will destroy themselves if you bid them to. Is this what you want for all the Galaxy?Trevize said, I do not know that I have free will, Mayor. My mind may have been subtly dealt with, so that I will give the answer that is desired.Novi said, Your mind is totally untouched. If we could bring ourselves to adjust you to suit our purposes, this whole meeting would be unnecessary. Were we that unprincipled, we could have proceeded with what we would find most pleasing to ourselves with no concern for the greater needs and good of humanity as a whole.Gendibal said, I believe it is my turn to speak. Councilman Trevize, do not be guided by narrow parochialism. The fact that you are Terminus-born should not lead you to believe that Terminus comes before the Galaxy. For five centuries now, the Galaxy has been operating in accordance with the Seldon Plan. In and out of the Foundation Federation, that operation has been proceeding.You are, and have been, part of the Seldon Plan above and beyond your lesser role as Foundationer. Do not do anything to disrupt the Plan, either on behalf of a narrow concept of patriotism or out of a romantic longing for the new and untried. The Second Foundationers will in no way hamper the free will of humanity. We are guides, not despots.And we offer a Second Galactic Empire fundamentally different from the First. passim human history, no decade in all the tens of thousands of years during which hyperspatial travel has existed has been completely free of bloodshed and violent death throughout the Galaxy, even in those periods when the Foundation itself was at peace. Choose Mayor Branno and that will continue endlessly into the future. The same dreary, deadly round. The Seldon Plan offers release from that at last and not at the price of becoming one more atom in a Galaxy of atoms, being reduced to equality with grass, bacteria, and dust.Novi said, What Speaker Gendibal says of the First Foundations Second Empire, I agree with. What he says of his own, I do not. The Speakers of Trantor are, after all, independent free-will human beings and are the same as they have always been. Are they free of destructive competition, of politics, of clawing upward at all costs? Are there no quarrels and even hatreds at the Speakers instrument panel and will they always be guides you dare follow? Put Speaker Gendibal on his honor and ask him this.No need to put me on my honor, said Gendibal. I freely admit we have our hatreds, competitions, and betrayals at the Table. But once a decision is reached, it is obeyed by all. There has never been an elision to this.Trevize said, What if I will not make a choice?You must, said Novi. You will know that it is right to do so and you will therefore make a choice.What if I try to make a choice and cannot?You must.Trevize said, How much time do I h ave?Novi said, Until you are sure, however much time that takes.Trevize sat silently.Though the others were silent too, it seemed to Trevize that he could hear the pulsing of his bloodstream.He could hear Mayor Brannos voice say firmly, clear will Speaker Gendibals voice said peremptorily, Guidance and peaceNovis voice said wistfully, Life.Trevize turned and found Pelorat looking at him intently. He said, Janov. suck in you heard all this?Yes, I have, Golan.What do you think?The decision is not mine.I know that. But what do you think.I dont know. I am frightened by all three alternatives. And yet a grotesque thought comes to meYes?When we first went out into space, you showed me the Galaxy. Do you remember?Of course.You speeded time and the Galaxy rotated visibly. And I said, as though anticipating this very time, The Galaxy looks like a living thing, crawling through space. Do you think that, in a way, it is alive already?And Trevize, remembering that moment, was of a sudden s ure. He remembered suddenly his feeling that Pelorat, too, would have a vital role to play. He turned in haste, anxious not to have time to think, to doubt, to grow uncertain.He placed his hands on the terminals and thought with an intensity he had never known before.He had made his decision the decision on which the fate of the Galaxy hung.