Cadnan imagined a parade of new truths, a store of knowledge that would lay all his questions to rest and leave him, as after a meal, entirely satisfied. He went back to work and contemplated the first of the truths: he was to be like the machine. He promised himself he would try to imitate the machine, doing only what the masters ordered. And for the rest of that day, indeed, life seemed to make perfect calming sense."Where may I learn the others?" But Gornom didn't answer, and Cadnan's breathing-space was over. He had to be back at the board, pushing buttons, watching carefully. Gornom stood behind him, peering over his shoulder with a cloudy eye. Neither said a word until the new spell of work was over. Then Cadnan repeated his question.
Marvor seemed to lose patience all at once. "Very well," he said. "But you will not tell the masters what I say?"
Dara turned on him a face that seemed completely calm. "They do not see us," she said flatly. "Now do not speak."
"There is food here."And there were no elders any more. There were neither elders nor masters: there was only Cadnan, and Dara鈥攁nd, somewhere, Marvor and the group he had spoken of. Cadnan peered round, but he saw no one. There were small new sounds, and those were frightening, but they were so tiny鈥攔ustles, squeaks, no more鈥攖hat Cadnan could not feel greatly frightened by them.
"I wouldn't know," she said, and then (had she made a decision? He couldn't tell) she went on: "I'm in Psych, myself."
Cadnan understood. "All right," he said, and the three masters left the room without more words. The door shut behind them and Gornom visibly relaxed. Yet there was still wariness behind the old eye. "I work in the field," he said after a second. "I am good worker in the field."That was different. The rules of the elders covered such a request. "Does a brother refuse help to a brother?" Cadnan asked. "We are from the same tree and the same time. Tell me what I must do."
"It is not good to be free," he said at last, in a reasonable, weary tone. "In the cold there is a bad thing. In the rain there is a bad thing. To be free is to go to these bad things."He was still standing, those few thoughts expanding and filling his mind like water in a sponge, when the building, quite without warning, shook itself.
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"I'm afraid we can't," Rogier put in, almost apologetically.详情
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