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Asimov, Isaac - Foundation Series 09 Robots & Empire by Asimov Isaac

Asimov, Isaac - Foundation Series 09 Robots & Empire by Asimov Isaac

Author:Asimov, Isaac
Language: eng
Format: epub


PART IV

AURORA

PART IV. AURORA

11. THE OLD LEADER

42.

Kelden Amadiro was not immune from the human plague of memory. He was, in fact, more subject to it than most. In his case, moreover, the tenacity of memory had, as its accompaniment, a content unusual for the intensity of its deep and prolonged rage and frustration.

All had been going so welt for him twenty decades before. He was the founding head of the Robotics Institute (he was still the founding head) and for one flashing and triumphant moment it had seemed to him that he could not fail to achieve total control of the Council, smashing his great enemy, Han Fastolfe, and leaving him in helpless opposition.

If he had-if he only had(How he tried not to think of it and how his memory presented him with it, over and over again, as though it could never get enough of grief and despair.)

If he had won out, Earth would have remained isolated and alone and he would have seen to it that Earth declined, decayed, and finally faded into dissolution. Why not? The short-lived people of a diseased, overcrowded world were better off dead-a hundred times better off dead than living the life they had forced themselves to lead.

And the Spacer worlds, calm and secure, would then have expanded further.

Fastolfe had always complained that the Spacers were too long-lived and too comfortable on their robotic cushions to be pioneers, but Amadiro would have proved him wrong.

Yet Fastolfe had won out. At the moment of certain defeat, he had somehow, unbelievably, incredibly, reached into empty space, so to speak, and found victory in his grasp-plucked from nowhere.

It was that Earthman, of course, Elijah BaleyBut Amadiro's otherwise uncomfortable memory always balked at the Earthman and turned away. He could not picture that face, hear that voice, remember that deed. The name was enough. Twenty centuries had not sufficed to dim the hatred he felt in the slightest-or to soften the pain he felt by an iota.

And with Fastolfe in charge of policy, the miserable Earthmen had fled their corrupting planet and established themselves on world after world. The whirlwind of Earth's progress dazed the Spacer worlds and forced them into frozen paralysis.

How many times had Amadiro addressed the Council and pointed out that the Galaxy was slipping from Spacer fingers, that Aurora was watching blankly while world after world was being occupied by submen, that each year apathy was taking firmer hold of the Spacer spirit?

"Rouse yourself," he had called out. "Rouse yourself. See their numbers grow.

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See the Settler worlds multiply. What is it you wait for? To have them at your throats?"

And always Fastolfe would answer in that soothing lullaby of a voice of his and the Aurorans and the other Spacers (always following Aurora's lead, when Aurora chose not to lead) would settle back and return to their slumber.

The obvious did not seem to touch them. The facts, the figures, the indisputable worsening of affairs from decade to decade left them unmoved.



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