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Foundation Series 9: Robots and Empire by Isaac Asimov

Foundation Series 9: Robots and Empire by Isaac Asimov

Author:Isaac Asimov
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Tags: Science-Fiction, Series - Asimovs Foundation
ISBN: 9780586062005
Publisher: Grafton
Published: 1985-01-02T00:00:00+00:00


39.

Considering that he had not intended to be in his ship again for at least three additional months, D.G. seemed in genial spirits.

And considering that Gladia had larger and more luxurious quarters than she had before, she seemed rather depressed.

"Why all this?" she asked.

"Looking a gift horse in the mouth?" asked D.G.

"I'm just asking. Why?"

"For one thing, my lady, you're a class-A heroine and when the ship was refurbished, this place was rather tarted up for you."

"Tarted up?"

"Just an expression. Fancied up, if you prefer."

"This space wasn't just created. Who lost out?"

"Actually, it was the crew's lounge, but they insisted, you know. You're then- darling, too. In fact, Niss-you remember Niss?"

"Certainly."

"He wants you to take him on in place of Daneel. He says Daneel doesn't enjoy the job and keeps apologizing to his victims. Niss says he will destroy anyone who gives you the least trouble, will take pleasure in it, and will never apologize."

Gladia smiled. "Tell him I will keep his offer in mind and tell him I would enjoy shaking his hand if that can be arranged. I didn't get a chance to do so before we landed on Baleyworld."

"You'll wear your gloves, I hope, when you shake hands."

"Of course, but I wonder if that's entirely necessary. I haven't as much as sniffed since I left Aurora. The injections I've been getting have probably strengthened my immune system beautifully." She looked about again. "You even have wall niches for Daneel and Giskard. That's quite thoughtful of you, D.G."

"Madam," said D.G., "we work hard to please and we're delighted that you're pleased."

"Oddly enough"-Gladia sounded as though she were actually puzzled by what she was about to say-"I'm not entirely pleased. I'm not sure I want to leave your world."

"No? Cold-snow-dreary-primitive-endlessly cheering crowds everywhere. What can possibly attract you here?"

Gladia reddened. "It's not the cheering crowds."

"I'll pretend to believe you, madam."

"It's not. It's something altogether different. I-I have never done anything. I've amused myself in various trivial ways, I've engaged in force-field coloring and robot exode-sign. I've made love and been a wife and mother and- and-in none of these things have I ever been an individual of any account. If I had suddenly disappeared from existence or if I had never been bom, it wouldn't have affected anyone or anything-except, perhaps, one or two close personal friends. Now it's different."

"Yes?" There was the faintest touch of mockery in D.G.'s voice.

Gladia said, "Yes! I can influence people. I can choose a cause and make it my own. I have chosen a cause. I want to prevent war. I want the Universe populated by Spacer and Settler alike. I want each group to keep their own peculiarities, yet freely accept the others', too. I want to work so hard at this that after I am gone, history will have changed because of me and people will say, "Things would not be as satisfactory as they are had it not been for her.'"

She turned to D.G., her face glowing. "Do you know



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