• 2016/7/29

Over and over again

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... In  a way, the beginning  of the Commission's decline  can be traced tothe trial of Hari Seldon two years before the beginning of the FoundationalEt trial is described in Gaal Dornick's biography of Hari Seldon....


ENCYCLOPEDIA GALACTICAGaal did  not carry out his promise. He was awakened  the next morning by amuted buzzer.  He answered it, and  the voice of the  desk clerk, as muted,polite and deprecating as  it well might be, informed him that he was underdetention   at   the   orders  of   the   Commission   of  Public   Safety.


Gaal sprang  to the door and  found it would no  longer open. He could onlydress and wait.
They came for him  and took him elsewhere , but it was still detention. Theyasked him questions most  politely. It was all very civilized. He explainedthat  he was a  provincial of Synnax;  that he  had attended such  and suchschools  and obtained  a Doctor of  Mathematics degree  on such and  such adate.  He had applied  for a position  on Dr.  Seldon's staff and  had beenaccepted. , he gave  these details; and  over and overagain, they returned to the question of his joining the Seldon Project. Howhad he  heard of it; what  were to be his  duties; what secret instructionshad he received; what was it all about?


He answered  that he did not know. He had no  secret instructions. He was ascholar   and   a  mathematician.   He   had  no   interest  in   politics.


And finally the gentle  inquisitor asked, "When will Trantor be destroyed?"Gaal faltered, "I could not say of my own knowledge.""Could you say of anyone's?""How could I speak for another?" He felt warm; overwarm.


The inquisitor said, "Has anyone told you of such destruction; set a date?"And,  as the  young man  hesitated, he  went on,  "You have  been followed,doctor. We  were at the airport when you  arrived; on the observation towerwhen  you waited  for your  appointment; and,  of course,  we were  able tooverhear your conversation with Dr. Seldon."Gaal said, "Then you know his views on the matter.""Perhaps. But we would like to hear them from you.""He is of the opinion that Trantor would be destroyed within threecenturies.""He proved it, ?uh ?mathematically?""Yes, he did," ?defiantly.


"You  maintain   the  ?  uh  ? mathematics   to  be  valid,   I  suppose.
"If Dr. Seldon vouches for it, it is valid.""Then we will return.""Wait.  I have  a right  to a  lawyer. I  demand my  rights as  an Imperialcitizen.""You shall have them."And he did .

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