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through the floor.
However, Deere was not waiting for an answer. He motioned to a man in a toga
and spiked belt, who came toward Themus.  See this man? Deere asked.
Themus said yes. Deere tapped the man lightly on the chest,  Senior
Watcher, First Grade, Norsim, lately disappeared from the barracks at
KybaBase, Valasah.  He pointed to three others standing together near the
front of the crowd.  Those three were top men in the Corps, over a period
often years. Now they re Crackpots.
Themus eyebrows and hands asked,  But how?
 There is a gravitating factor among Kyben, he explained.  There
are Crackpots who are brought up as
Stuffs who realize when they get here that their thinking has been fettered.
Eventually they come to us. They come to us for the simple reason that the
intellect rises through the Watcher ranks, and for several reasons gets
assigned here.
We ve made sure the smartest boys get final assignment here.
 On the other side of the ledger there are non-cons who go psycho
from the responsibility of being a freethinker when they want
supervision, and their thinking directed. They eventually wind up as Kyben,
after minor reconditioning so they don t remember all this, he waved his
hand to indicate the Cave.  Now they re somewhere out there and probably quite
 But how can you make a Watcher disappear so completely, when the whole
garrison here is looking-
 Simple, said a voice from behind Themus.
Supervisor Furth just stood smiling.
Themus just stood choking.
The elder Watcher grinned at the confusion swirling about Themus face.
 How did-when were you- Themus stuttered.
Furth raised a hand to stop him.  I was an unbending Stuff for a good many
years, Themus, before I realized the Crackpot in me wanted out. He grinned
widely.  Do you know what did it? I was kidnapped, put in a barrel with a
bunch of chattering pegullas, and forced to think my way out. I finally made
it, and when I crawled out, all covered with pegulla-
dung those grinning maniacs helped me up and said,  More fun than a barrel of
, pegullas!

Themus began to chuckle.
 That did it, said Furth.
 But why do you send men like Elix back to the Mines? You must know how
horrible it is. That isn t at all consistent.
Furth s mouth drew down at the corner,  It is, when you consider that I m
supposed to be the iron hand of the Watcher garrison here on Kyba. We have to
keep the Stuffs in line. They have to be maneuvered, while they think they re
maneuvering us. And Elix was getting too far out of line.
 Do you know how close to being killed you came when we brought you here the
first time? Deere said.
Themus turned back to the pock-faced little man,  No. I-I thought you d just
send me back and let the Corps deal with me.
 Hardly. We aren t afraid of our blundering brothers with the armored hides,
but we certainly don t take wide chances to attract attention to ourselves. We
like our freedom too much for that.
 You see, we aren t play-acting at being odd. We actually enjoy and live the
job of being individuals. But there is a logic to our madness. Nothing we
do is folly.
 But, Themus objected,  what are the explanations for things like- and he
finger-listed several things that had been bothering him.
Page 46
ABC Amber Palm Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abcpalm.html
 The garbage is negatively polarized, so it touches nothing but its side of
the sewer pipes, explained Furth.
 The beggar, who by the way is a professional numismatist, can sense the
structural aura of various metals, that s how he knew how many and what
type coins you had in your pocket. The Cave here is merely an adequate
job of force-moving large areas of soil and rock, and atomic realignment
He explained for a few more minutes, Themus astonishment becoming
deeper and deeper at each further revelation of what he had considered
superhuman achievements. Finally, the young Watcher asked,  But why haven t
these discoveries been turned over to Kyben-Central?
 There are some things our little categorizing brothers aren t ready for, as [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]


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