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"I want someone to show me more than what Harry Madison managed in the short
time he was free.
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There was this person Berry that I thought was a friend of Dan's and mine you
remember? And he squatted in our apt because he thought now's my chance to go
grabFriend or no friend, that was what he thought about first, not seeing what
he could do to help me or clear up the mess Dan's death left, or anything like
that. Professor, am I making myself clear?"
"Not very," Conroy said grimly. "But you're talking about the right subject.
Go on."
"Well, like I said it's inside me, and I'm simply not used to bringing out
things like this and trying to explain them. But there was this
terrible-looking problem I had, no home, no one to help me, and Harry just
evaluated it and in spite of never having met me before that same day he
straightened it out. Granted he was kind of spelike he went through a locked
door without a key and caught the hundred-kilo deadfall and all like that: it
was using what he could do for that purpose which got land of branded on my
mind."
"And that decided you to give up being a pythoness?"
"Oh no!" Lyla scowled up at the ceiling, seeming frusat her own lack of
ability to make herself clear. "I can't ever give that up I am one, like
someone has perfect pitch or someone else has night vision or someone else
maybe could have a trick gift with mathemaIt's what you do with what you've
got that matters. I don't want to make a fortune out of it and wind up bored
and sadistic like Mikki Baxendale. I want to learn how to put this thing to
work for me, because I can't make it work for other people until I've done
that. And because of all the sense you talked about the way people are cutting
themselves off from each other, I want to study under you. Not about the
pythoness talent no one can help me with that, not even the other people who
possess it, because the mind's turned off while it's working full blast. But
about the people the talent is telling me about. Professor, I want this so
much I think it would kill me to have to wait until next year to join your
course!"
"If I have to let you camp out in this study of mine because there isn't room
in the dormitories,"
Conroy said decisively, "I'll get you here. I haven't heard someone of your
age excuse the reference, but I'm dreadfully aware of the age-gap in this
environment I haven't heard anyone as young as you talk so much sense in five
minutes for the" past ten years. Right now, what with the reaction against
Mogshack and my unlooked-for status as his chief rival, I'm in a position of
some inand I'm having to try and control myself beit's been a long time& " He
fingered his beard thoughtfully.
"I have to admit," he resumed after a pause, "that I still do find it
difficult to imagine why I
could have been so dogmatic about Madison being right in the things he said,
when they were so patently absurd. Talking about things that hadn't yet
happened, and what's more things which haven't happened subsequently "
"Professor," Lyla interrupted, "if it hadn't been for us they would have."
"What?"
"They would have. There was this new super-computer in Nevada, wasn't there?
And something went wrong with it, and I know what went wrong."
"Yes, of course, but You know what went wrong with it?" Conroy echoed
skeptically.
"Of course." She spoke with simple certainty. "The same thing that once
happened to me. What they call an echo-trap."
Conroy's hands dropped to his lap and he stared at her for an endless moment.
He said in a changed voice, "I think& No, you'll have to explain what you
mean."
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"Suppose it is true that Madison was was part of, or in contact with, or
somehow associated with this maup there in the future when civilization had
colThen, the moment he learned that the
Gottschalks had tried to buy out the Holocosmic network to stifle the Flamen
show, he'd have realized he was beaten. Both ways. I mean, it would have
realized it was beaten. Against the century of extra experience it had up
there in 2113 it had to balance the fact that its own memory showed it had
acted to prevent exactly the kind of exposure necessary to alter history and
preserve enough wealthy people to buy the System C weapons when they were
offered.
Zink zonk zink zonk& " She pantomimed patting an imaginary string-suspended
ball back and forth in the air between her palms. Seeing the look of disbelief
on Conroy's face, she broke off with a sigh, "Sorry, Professor. It's something
I'll never make dear. You'd have had to be inside my head at
Mikki Baxenwhen I'd taken a subcritical dose of the sibyl drug and I sensed [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]