Forward the Foundation Chapter 3

Forward the Foundation Chapter 3

4

There was a short silence again, but only because thoughts are silent. Seldon’s were tumultuous enough.

Yes, it was true. His wife did seem to have an uncanny knowledge of robots. Hari had wondered about this so often over the years that he had finally given up, tucked it away in the back of his mind. If it hadn’t been for Eto Demerzel-a robot-Hari would never have met Dors. For Dors worked for Demerzel; it was Demerzel who “assigned” Dors to Hari’s case eight years ago to protect him during his flight throughout the various sectors of Trantor. Even though now she was his wife, his help-meet**, his “better half,” Hari still occasionally wondered about Dors’s strange connection with the robot Demerzel. It was the only area of Dors’s life where Hari truly felt he did not belong-nor welcome. And that brought to mind the most painful question of all: Was it out of obedience to Demerzel that Dors stayed with Hari or was it out of love for him? He wanted to believe the latter-and yet…

His life with Dors Venabili was a happy one, but it was so at a cost, at a condition. The condition was all the more stringent, in that it had been settled not through discussion or agreement but by a mutual unspoken understanding.

Seldon understood that he found in Dors everything he would have wanted in a wife. True, he had no children, but he had neither expected any, nor, to tell the truth, had greatly wanted any. He had Raych, who was as much a son of his emotionally as if he had inherited the entire Seldonian genome-perhaps more so.

The mere fact that Dors was causing him to think about the matter was breaking the agreement that had kept them in peace and comfort all these years and he felt a faint but growing resentment at that.

But he pushed those thoughts, the questions, away again. He had learned to accept her role as his protector and would continue to do so. After all, it was he with whom she shared a home, a table, and a bed-not Eto Demerzel.

Dors’s voice brought him out of his reverie.

“I said-Are you sulking, Hari?”

He started slightly, for there was the sound of repetition in her voice, and he realized he had been shrinking steadily deeper into his mind and away from her.

“I’m sorry, dear. I’m not sulking. Not deliberately sulking. I’m just wondering how I ought to respond to your statement.”

“About robots?” She seemed quite calm as she said the word.

“You said I don’t know as much about them as you do. How do I respond to that?” He paused, then added quietly (knowing he was taking a chance), “That is, without offense.”

“I didn’t say you didn’t know about robots. If you’re going to quote me, do so with precision. I said you didn’t understand about robots. I’m sure that you know a great deal, perhaps more than I do, but to know is not necessarily to understand.”

“Now, Dors, you’re deliberately speaking in paradoxes to be annoying. A paradox arises only out of an ambiguity that deceives either unwittingly or by design. I don’t like that in science and I don’t like it in casual conversation, either, unless it is meant humorously, which I think is not the case now.”

Dors laughed in her particular way, softly, almost as though amusement were too precious to be shared in an overliberal manner. “Apparently the paradox has annoyed you into pomposity and you are always humorous when you are pompous. However, I’ll explain. It’s not my intention to annoy you.” She reached over to pat his hand and it was to Seldon’s surprise (and slight embarrassment) that he found that he had clenched his hand into a fist.

Dors said, “You talk about psychohistory a great deal. To me, at any rate. You know that?”

Seldon cleared his throat. “I throw myself on your mercy as far as that’s concerned. The project is secret-by its very nature. Psychohistory won’t work unless the people it affects know nothing about it, so I can talk about it only to Yugo and to you. To Yugo, it is all intuition. He’s brilliant, but he is so apt to leap wildly into darkness that I must play the role of caution, of forever pulling him back. But I have my wild thoughts, too, and it helps me to be able to hear them aloud, even”-and he smiled-“when I have a pretty good notion that you don’t understand a word I’m saying.”

“I know I’m your sounding board and I don’t mind. I really don’t mind, Hari, so don’t begin making inner resolutions to change your behavior. Naturally I don’t understand your mathematics. I’m just a historian-and not even a historian of science. The influence of economic change on political development is what is taking up my time now-“

“Yes, and I’m your sounding board on that or hadn’t you noticed? I’ll need it for psychohistory when the time comes, so I suspect you’ll be an indispensable help to me.”

“Good! Now that we’ve settled why you stay with me-I knew it couldn’t be for my ethereal beauty-let me go on to explain that occasionally, when your discussion veers away from the strictly mathematical aspects, it seems to me that I get your drift. You have, on a number of occasions, explained what you call the necessity of minimalism. I think I understand that. By it, you mean-“

“I know what I mean.”

Dors looked hurt. “Less lofty, please, Hari. I’m not trying to explain to you. I want to explain it to myself. You say you’re my sounding board, so act like one. Turnabout is fair play, isn’t it?”

“Turnabout is fine, but if you’re going to accuse me of loftiness when I say one little-“

“Enough! Shut up! You have told me that minimalism is of the highest importance in applied psychohistory; in the art of attempting to change an undesired development into a desired one or, at any rate, a toss undesired one. You have said that a change must be applied that is as minute, as minimal, as possible-“

“Yes,” said Seldon eagerly, “that is because-“

“No, Hari. I’m trying to explain. We both know that you understand it. You must have minimalism because every change, any change, has a myriad of side effects that can’t always be allowed for. If the change is side effects too many, then it becomes certain that the outcome will be far removed from anything you’ve planned and that it would be entirely unpredictable.”

“Right,” said Seldon. “That’s the essence of a chaotic-effect. The problem is whether any change is small enough to make the consequence reasonably predictable or whether human history is inevitably and unalterably chaotic in every respect. It was that which, at the start, made me think that psychohistory was not-“

“I know, but you’re not letting me make my point. Whether any change would be small enough is not the issue. The point is that any change greater than the minimal is chaotic. The required minimum may be zero, but if it is not zero, then it is still very small-and it would be a major problem to find some change that is small enough and yet is significantly greater than zero. Now, that, I gather, is what you mean by the necessity of minimalism.”

“More or less,” said Seldon. “Of course, as always, the matter is expressed more compactly and more rigorously in the language of mathematics. See here-“

“Save me,” said Dors. “Since you know this about psychohistory, Hari, you ought to know it about Demerzel, too. You have the knowledge but not the understanding, because it apparently doesn’t occur to you to apply the rules of psychohistory to the Laws of Robotics.”

To which Seldon replied faintly, “Now I don’t see what you’re getting at.

“He requires minimality, too, doesn’t he, Hari? By the First Law of Robotics, a robot can’t harm a human being. That is the prime rule for the usual robot, but Demerzel is something quite unusual and for him, the Zeroth Law is a reality and it takes precedence even over the First Law. The Zeroth Law states that a robot can’t harm humanity as a whole. But that puts Demerzel into the same bind in which you exist when you labor at psychohistory. Do you see?”

“I’m beginning to.”

“I hope so. If Demerzel has the ability to change minds, he has to do so without bringing about side effects he does not wish-and since he is the Emperor’s First Minister, the side effects he must worry about are numerous, indeed.”

“And the application to the present case?”

“Think about it! You can’t tell anyone-except me, of course-that Demerzel is a robot, because he has adjusted you so that you can’t. But how much adjustment did that take? Do you want to tell people that he is a robot? Do you want to ruin his effectiveness when you depend on him for protection, for support of your grants, for influence quietly exerted on your behalf? Of course not. The change he had to make then was a very tiny one, just enough to keep you from blurting it out in a moment of excitement or carelessness. It is so small a change that there are no particular side effects. That is how Demerzel tries to run the Empire generally.”

“And the case of Joranum?”

“Is obviously completely different from yours. He is, for whatever motives, unalterably opposed to Demerzel. Undoubtedly, Demerzel could change that, but it would be at the price of introducing a considerable wrench in Joranum’s makeup that would bring about results Demerzel could not predict. Rather than take the chance of harming Joranum, of producing side effects that would harm others and, possibly, all of humanity, he must leave Joranum alone until he can find some small change-some small change-that will save the situation without harm. That is why Yugo is right and why Demerzel is vulnerable.”

Seldon had listened but did not respond. He seemed lost in thought. Minutes passed before he said, “If Demerzel can do nothing in this matter, then I must.”

“If he can do nothing, what can you do?”

“The case is different. I am not bound by the Laws of Robotics. I need not concern myself obsessively with minimalism. And to begin with, I must see Demerzel.”

Dors looked faintly anxious. “Must you? Surely it wouldn’t be wise to advertise a connection between the two of you.”

“We have reached a time where we can’t make a fetish of pretending there is no connection. Naturally I won’t go to see him behind a flourish of trumpets and an announcement on holovision, but I must see him.”

5

Seldon found himself raging at the passage of time. Eight years ago, when he had first arrived on Trantor, he could take instant action. He had only a hotel room and its contents to forsake and he could range through the sectors of Trantor at will.

Now he found himself with department meetings, with decisions to make, with work to do. It was not so easy to dash off at will to see Demerzel-and if he could, Demerzel also had a-full schedule of his own. To find a time when they both could meet would not be easy.**

Nor was it easy to have Dors shake her head at him. “I don’t know what you intend to do, Hari.”

And he answered impatiently, “I don’t know what I intend to do, either, Dors. I hope to find out when I see Demerzel.”

“Your first duty is to psychohistory. He’ll tell you so.”

“Perhaps. I’ll find out.”

And then, just as he had arranged a time for the meeting with the First Minister, eight days hence, he received a message on his department office wall screen in slightly archaic lettering. And to match that was the more than slightly archaic message: I CRAVE AN AUDIENCE WITH PROFESSOR HARI SELDON.

Seldon stared at it with astonishment. Even the Emperor was not addressed in quite that centuries-old turn of phrase.

Nor was the signature printed as it usually was for clarity. It was scripted with a flourish that left it perfectly legible and yet gave it the aura of a careless work of art dashed off by a master. The signature was: LASKIN JORANUM. It was Jo-Jo himself, craving an audience.

Seldon found himself chuckling. It was clear why the choice of words-and why the script. It made what was a simple request a device for stimulating curiosity. Seldon had no great desire to meet the man-or would have had none ordinarily. But what was worth the archaism and the artistry? He wanted to find out.

He had his secretary set the time and the place of the appointment. It would be in his office, certainly not in his apartment. A business conversation, nothing social.

And it would come before the projected meeting with Demerzel.

Dors said, “It’s no surprise to me, Hari. You hurt two of his people, one of them his chief aide; you spoiled a little rally he was holding; and you made him, in the person of his representatives, seem foolish. He wants to take a look at you and I think I had better be with you.”

Seldon shook his head. “I’ll take Raych. He knows all the tricks I know and he’s a strong and active twenty-year-old. Although I’m sure there’ll be no need for protection.”

“How can you be sure?”

“Joranum is coming to see me on the University grounds. There will be any number of youngsters in the vicinity. I’m not exactly an unpopular figure with the student body and I suspect that Joranum is the kind of man who does his homework and knows that I’ll be safe on home territory. I’m sure that he will be perfectly polite-completely friendly.”

“Hmph,” said Dors with a light twist of one corner of her lip.

“And quite deadly,” Seldon finished.

6

Hari Seldon kept his face expressionless and bent his head just sufficiently to allow a sense of reasonable courtesy. He had taken the trouble to look up a variety of holographs of Joranum, but, as is often the case, the real thing, unguarded, shifting constantly in response to changing conditions, is never quite the same as a holograph-however carefully prepared. Perhaps, thought Seldon, it is the response of the viewer to the “real thing” that makes it different.

Joranum was a tall man-as tall as Seldon, at any rate-but larger in other directions. It was not due to a muscular physique, for he gave the impression of softness, without quite being fat. A rounded face, a thick head of hair that was sandy rather than yellow, light blue eyes. He wore a subdued coverall and his face bore a half-smile that gave the illusion of friendliness, while making it clear, somehow, that it was only an illusion.

“Professor Seldon”-his voice was deep and under strict control, an orator’s voice-“I am delighted to meet you. It is kind of you to permit this meeting. I trust you are not offended that I have brought a companion, my right-hand man, with me, although I have not cleared that with you in advance. He is Gambol Deen Namarti-three names, you notice. I believe you have met him.”

“Yes, I have. I remember the incident well.” Seldon looked at Namarti with a touch of the sardonic. At the previous encounter, Namarti had been speaking at the University Field. Seldon viewed him carefully now-under relaxed conditions. Namarti was of moderate height, with a thin face, sallow complexion, dark hair, and a wide mouth. He did not have Joranum’s half-smile or any noticeable expression-except for a sense of cautious wariness.

“My friend Dr. Namarti-his degree is in ancient literature-has come at his own request,” said Joranum, his smile intensifying a bit, “to apologize.”

Joranum glanced quickly at Namarti-and Namarti, his lips tightening just at first, said in a colorless voice, “I am sorry, Professor, for what happened at the Field. I was not quite aware of the strict rules governing University rallies and I was a little carried away by my own enthusiasm.”

“Understandably so,” said Joranum. “Nor was he entirely aware of your identity. I think we may all now forget the matter.”

“I assure you, gentlemen,” said Seldon, “that I have no great desire to remember it. This is my son, Raych Seldon, so you see I have a companion, too.”

Raych had grown a mustache, black and abundant-the masculine mark of the Dahlite. He had had none when he first met Seldon eight years before, when he was a street boy, ragged and hungry. He was short but lithe and sinewy and his expression was the haughty one he had adopted in order to add a few spiritual inches to his physical height.

“Good morning, young man,” said Joranum.

“Good morning, sir,” said Raych.

“Please sit down, gentlemen,” said Seldon. “May I offer you something to eat or drink?”

Joranum held up his hands in polite refusal. “No, sir. This is not a social call.” He seated himself in the place indicated. “Though I hope there will be many such calls in the future.”

“If this is to be about business, then let’s begin.”

“The news reached me, Professor Seldon, of the little incident that you have so kindly agreed to forget and I wondered why you took the chance of doing what you did. It was a risk, you must admit.”

“I didn’t think so, actually.”

“But I did. So I took the liberty of finding out everything I could about you, Professor Seldon. You’re an interesting man. From Helicon, I discovered.”

“Yes, that’s where I was born. The records are clear.”

“And you’ve been here on Trantor for eight years.”

“That is also a matter of public record.”

“And you made yourself quite famous at the start by delivering a mathematical paper on-what do you call it?-psychohistory?”

Seldon shook his head very slightly. How often he had regretted that indiscretion. Of course, he had had no idea at the time that it was an indiscretion. He said, “A youthful enthusiasm. It came to nothing.”

“Is that so?” Joranum looked around him with an air of pleased surprise. “Yet here you are, the head of the Mathematics Department at one of Trantor’s greatest Universities, and only forty years old, I believe. I’m forty-two, by the way, so I don’t look upon you as very old at all. You must be a very competent mathematician to be in this position.”

Seldon shrugged. “I wouldn’t care to make a judgment in that matter.”

“Or you must have powerful friends.”

“We would all like to have powerful friends, Mr. Joranum, but I think you will find none here. University professors rarely have powerful friends or, I sometimes think, friends of any kind.” He smiled.

And so did Joranum. “Wouldn’t you consider the Emperor a powerful friend, Professor Seldon?”

“I certainly would, but what has that to do with me?”

“I am under the impression that the Emperor is a friend of yours.”

“I’m sure the records will show, Mr. Joranum, that I had an audience with His Imperial Majesty eight years ago. It lasted perhaps an hour or less and I saw no signs of any great friendliness in him at the time. Nor have I spoken to him since-or even seen him-except on holovision, of course.”

“But, Professor, it is not necessary to see or speak to the Emperor to have him as a powerful friend. It is sufficient to see or speak to Eto Demerzel, the Emperor’s First Minister. Demerzel is your protector and, since he is, we may as well say the Emperor is.”

“Do you find First Minister Demerzel’s supposed protection of me anywhere in the records? Or anything at all in the records from which you can deduce that protection?”

“Why search the records when it is well known that there is a connection between the two of you. You know it and I know it. Let us take it then as given and continue. And please”-he raised his hands-“do not take the trouble to give me any heartfelt denials. It’s a waste of time.”

“Actually,” said Seldon, “I was going to ask why you should think that he would want to protect me. To what end?”

“Professor? Are you trying to hurt me by pretending to think I am a monster of naivete? I mentioned your psychohistory, which Demerzel wants.”

“And I told you that it was a youthful indiscretion that came to nothing.”

“You may tell me a great many things, Professor. I am not compelled to accept what you tell me. Come, let me speak frankly. I have read your original paper and have tried to understand it with the help of some mathematicians on my staff. They tell me it is a wild dream and quite impossible-“

“I quite agree with them,” said Seldon.

“But I have the feeling that Demerzel is waiting for it to be developed and put to use. And if he can wait, so can I. It would be more useful to you, Professor Seldon, to have me wait.”

“Why so?”

“Because Demerzel will not endure in his position for much longer. Public opinion is turning against him steadily. It may be that when the Emperor wearies of an unpopular First Minister who threatens to drag the throne down with him, he will find a replacement. It may even be my poor self whom the Emperor’s fancy will seize upon. And you will still need a protector, someone who can see to it that you can work in peace and with ample funds for whatever you need in the way of equipment and assistants.”

“And would you be that protector?”

“Of course-and for the same reason that Demerzel is. I want a successful psychohistoric technique so that I can rule the Empire more efficiently.”

Seldon nodded thoughtfully, waited a moment, then said, “But in that case, Mr. Joranum, why must I concern myself in this? I am a poor scholar, living a quiet life, engaged in out-of-the-way mathematical and pedagogical activities. You say that Demerzel is my present protector and that you will be my future protector. I can go quietly about my business, then. You and the First Minister may fight it out. Whoever prevails, I have a protector still-or, at least, so you tell me.”

Joranum’s fixed smile seemed to fade a bit. Namarti, at his side, turned his dour face toward Joranum and made as though to say something, but Joranum’s hand moved slightly and Namarti coughed and did not speak.

Joranum said, “Dr. Seldon. Are you a patriot?”

“Why, of course. The Empire has given humanity millennia of peace-mostly peace, at any rate-and fostered steady advancement.”

“So it has-but at a slower pace in the last century or two.”

Seldon shrugged. “I have not studied such matters.”

“You don’t have to. You know that, politically, the last century or two has been a time of turmoil. Imperial reigns have been short and sometimes have been shortened further by assassination-“

“Even mentioning that,” put in Seldon, “is close to treason. I’d rather you didn’t-“

“Well, there.” Joranum threw himself back in his seat. “See how insecure you are. The Empire is decaying. I’m willing to say so openly. Those who follow me do so because they know only too well it is. We need someone at the Emperor’s right hand who can control the Empire, subdue the rebellious impulses that seem to be arising everywhere, give the armed forces the natural leadership they should have, lead the economy-“

Seldon made an impatient stopping motion with his arm. “And you’re the one to do it, are you?”

“I intend to be the one. It won’t be an easy job and I doubt there would be many volunteers-for good reason. Certainly Demerzel can’t do it. Under him, the decline of the Empire is accelerating to a total breakdown.”

“But you can stop it?”

“Yes, Dr. Seldon. With your help. With psychohistory.”

“Perhaps Demerzel could stop the breakdown with psychohistory-if psychohistory existed.”

Joranum said calmly, “It exists. Let us not pretend it does not. But its existence does not help Demerzel. Psychohistory is only a tool. It needs a brain to understand it and an arm to wield it.”

“And you have those, I take it?”

“Yes. I know my own virtues. I want psychohistory.”

Seldon shook his head. “You may want it all you please. I don’t have it.

“You do have it. I will not argue the point.” Joranum leaned closer as though wishing to insinuate his voice into Seldon’s ear, rather than allowing the sound waves to carry it there. “You say you are a patriot. I must replace Demerzel to avoid Imperial destruction. However, the manner of replacement might itself weaken the Empire desperately. I do not wish that. You can advise me how to achieve the end smoothly, subtly, without harm or damage-for the sake of the Empire.”

Seldon said, “I cannot. You accuse me of knowledge I do not possess. I would like to be of assistance, but I cannot.”

Joranum stood up suddenly. “Well, you know my mind and what it is I want of you. Think about it. And I ask you to think about the Empire. You may feel you owe Demerzel-this despoiler of all the millions of planets of humanity-your friendship. Be careful. What you do may shake the very foundation of the Empire. I ask you to help me in the name of the quadrillions of human beings who fill the Galaxy. Think of the Empire.”

His voice had dropped to a thrilling and powerful half-whisper. Seldon felt himself almost trembling. “I will always think of the Empire,” he said.

Joranum said, “Then that is all I ask right now. Thank you for consenting to see me.”

Seldon watched Joranum and his companion leave as the office doors slid open noiselessly and the men strode out.

He frowned. Something was bothering him-and he was not sure what it was.

7

Namarti’s dark eyes remained fixed on Joranum as they sat in their carefully shielded office in the Streeling Sector. It was not an elaborate headquarters; they were as yet weak in Streeling, but they would grow stronger.

It was amazing how the movement was growing. It had started from nothing three years back and now its tentacles stretched-in some places more thickly than others, of course-throughout Trantor. The Outer Worlds were as yet largely untouched. Demerzel had labored mightily to keep them content, but that was his mistake. It was here on Trantor that rebellions were dangerous. Elsewhere, they could be controlled. Here, Demerzel could be toppled. Odd that he should not realize that, but Joranum had always held to the theory that Demerzel’s reputation was overblown, that he would prove an empty shell if anyone dared oppose him, and that the Emperor would destroy him quickly if his own security seemed at stake.

So far, at least, all of Joranum’s predictions had come to pass. He had never once lost his way except in minor matters, such as that recent rally at Streeling University in which this Seldon fellow had interfered.

That might be why Joranum had insisted on the interview with him. Even a minor toe stub must be taken care of. Joranum enjoyed the feeling of infallibility and Namarti had to admit that the vision of a constant string of successes was the surest way of ensuring the continuation of success. People tended to avoid the humiliation of failure by joining the obviously winning side even against their own opinions.

But had the interview with this Seldon been a success or was it a second stub of the toe to be added to the first? Namarti had not enjoyed having been brought along in order to be made to humbly apologize and he didn’t see that it had done any good.

Now Joranum sat there, silent, obviously lost in thought, gnawing at the edge of one thumb as though trying to draw some sort of mental nourishment from it.

“Jo-Jo,” said Namarti softly. He was one of the very few people who could address Joranum by the diminutive that the crowds shouted out endlessly in public. Joranum solicited the love of the mob in this way, among others, but he demanded respect from individuals in private, except for those special friends who had been with him from the start.

“Jo-Jo,” he said again.

Joranum looked up. “Yes, G.D., what is it?” He sounded a little testy.

“What are we going to do about this Seldon fellow, Jo-Jo?”

“Do? Nothing right now. He may join us.”

“Why wait? We can put pressure on him. We can pull a few strings at the University and make life miserable for him.”

“No no. So far, Demerzel has been letting us go our way. The fool is overconfident. The last thing we want to do, though, is to push him into action before we are quite ready. And a heavy-handed move against Seldon may do it. I suspect Demerzel places enormous importance on Seldon.”

“Because of this psychohistory you two talked about?”

“Indeed.”

“What is it? I have never heard of it.”

“Few people have. It’s a mathematical way of analyzing human society that ends by predicting the future.”

Namarti frowned and felt his body move slightly away from Joranum. Was this a joke of Joranum’s? Was this intended to make him laugh? Namarti had never been able to work out when or why people expected him to laugh. He had never had an urge to.

He said, “Predict the future? How?”

“Ah? If I knew that, what need would I have of Seldon?”

“Frankly I don’t believe it, Jo-Jo. How can you foretell the future? It’s fortune-telling.”

“I know, but after this Seldon broke up your little rally, I had him looked into. All the way. Eight years ago, he came to Trantor and presented a paper on psychohistory at a convention of mathematicians and then the whole thing died. It was never referred to again by anyone. Not even by Seldon.”

“It sounds as though there were nothing to it, then.”

“Oh no, just the reverse. If it had faded slowly, if it had been subjected to ridicule, I would have said there was nothing to it. But to be cut off suddenly and completely means that the whole thing has been placed in the deepest of freezes. That is why Demerzel may have been doing nothing to stop us. Perhaps he is not being guided by a foolish overconfidence; perhaps he is being guided by psychohistory, which must be predicting something that Demerzel plans to take advantage of at the right time. If so, we might fail unless we can make use of psychohistory ourselves.”

“Seldon claims it doesn’t exist.”

“Wouldn’t you if you were he?”

“I still say we ought to put pressure on him.”

“It would be useless, G.D. Didn’t you ever hear the story of the Ax of Venn?”

“No.”

“You would if you were from Nishaya. It’s a famous folktale back home. In brief, Venn was a woodcutter who had a magic ax that, with a single light blow, could chop down any tree. It was enormously valuable, but he never made any effort to hide it or preserve it-and yet it was never stolen, because no one could lift or swing the ax but Venn himself.

“Well, at the present moment, no one can handle psychohistory but Seldon himself. If he were on our side only because we had forced him, we could never be certain of his loyalty. Might he not urge a course of action that would seem to work in our favor but would be so subtly drawn that, after a while, we found ourselves quite suddenly destroyed. No, he must come to our side voluntarily and labor for us because he wishes us to win.”

“But how can we bring him around?”

“There’s Seldon’s son. Raych, I think he’s called. Did you observe him?”

“Not particularly.”

“G.D., G.D., you miss points if you don’t observe everything. That young man listened to me with his heart in his eyes. He was impressed. I could tell. If there’s one thing I can tell, it is just how I impress others. I know when I have shaken a mind, when I have edged someone toward conversion.”

Joranum smiled. It was not the pseudowarm ingratiating smile of his public demeanor. It was a genuine smile this time-cold, somehow, and menacing.

“We’ll see what we can do with Raych,” he said, “and if, through him, we can reach Seldon.”