One all right twenty-four hours in June, a tall, thin, purpose, gravely dressed immature adult male walked into the offices of the Transstellar Travel Agency. Without a glimpse, he marched past the gaudy travel posting picturing the Harvest Feast on Mars. The tremendous photomural of dancing woods on Triganium did n’t catch his oculus. He ignored the slightly implicative picture of dawn-rites on Opiuchus II, and arrived at the desk of the engagement agent.
“ I would wish to book transition to Tranai, ” the immature adult male said.
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The agent closed his transcript of Necessary Inventions and frowned. “ Tranai? Tranai? Is that one of the Moons of Kent IV? ”
“ It is non, ” the immature adult male said. “ Tranai is a planet, go arounding around a Sun of the same name. I want to book transition at that place. ”
“ Never heard of it. ” The agent pulled down a star catalogue, a simplified star chart, and a transcript of Lesser Space Routes. “ Well, now, ” he said eventually. “ You learn something new every twenty-four hours. You want to book transition to Tranai, Mister – ”
“ Goodman. Marvin Goodman. ”
“ Goodman. Well, it seems that Tranai is approximately every bit far from Earth as one can acquire and still be in the Milky Way. Cipher goes at that place. ”
“ I know. Can you set up transition for me? ” Goodman asked, with a intimation of suppressed exhilaration in his voice.
The agent shook his caput. “ Not a opportunity. Even the non-skeds do n’t travel that far. ”
“ How near can you acquire me? ”
The agent gave him a winning smiling. “ Why fuss? I can direct you to a universe that ‘ll hold everything this Tranai topographic point has, with the extra advantages of propinquity, deal rates, nice hotels, Tourss – ”
“ I ‘m traveling to Tranai, ” Goodman said grimly.
“ But there ‘s no manner of acquiring at that place, ” the agent explained patiently. “ What is it you expected to happen? Possibly I could assist. ”
“ You can assist by booking me every bit far as – ”
“ Is it escapade? ” the agent asked, rapidly sizing up Goodman ‘s unathletic physique and scholarly stoop. “ Let me propose Africanus II, a dawn-age universe filled with barbarian folks, saber-tooths, man-eating ferns, quicksand, active vents, pterodactyls and all the remainder. Expeditions leave New York every five yearss and they combine the uttermost in danger with absolute safety. A dinosaur caput guaranteed or your money refunded. ”
“ Tranai, ” Goodman said.
“ Hmm. ” The clerk looked appraisingly at Goodman ‘s set lips and sturdy eyes. “ Possibly you are tired of the puritanical limitations of Earth? Then allow me propose a trip to Almagordo III, the Pearl of the Southern Ridge Belt. Our 10 twenty-four hours all-expense program includes a trip through the cryptic Almagordian Casbah, visits to eight cabarets ( first drink on us ) , a trip to a zintal mill, where you can purchase echt zintal belts, places and pocketbooks at phenomenal nest eggs, and a circuit through two distilleries. The misss of Almagordo are beautiful, vibrant and refreshfully naif. They consider the Tourist the highest and most desirable type of human being. Besides – ”
“ Tranai, ” Goodman said. “ How near can you acquire me? ”
Dourly the clerk extracted a strip of tickets. “ You can take the Constellation Queen every bit far as Legis II and reassign to the Galactic Splendor, which will take you to Oume. Then you ‘ll hold to board a local, which, after halting at Machang, Inch-ang, Pankang, Lekung and Oyster, will go forth you at Tung-Bradar IV, if it does n’t interrupt down en path. Then a non-sked will transport you past the Galactic Whirl ( if it gets by ) to Aloomsridgia, from which the mail ship will take you to Bellismoranti. I believe the mail ship is still working. That brings you about halfway. After that, you ‘re on your ain. ”
“ Fine, ” Goodman said. “ Can you hold my signifiers made out by this afternoon? ”
The clerk nodded. “ Mr. Goodman, ” he asked in desperation, “ merely what kind of topographic point is this Tranai supposed to be? ”
Goodman smiled a beatific smiling. “ A Utopia, ” he said.
Marvin Goodman had lived most of his life in Seakirk, New Jersey, a town controlled by one political foreman or another for near to fifty old ages. Most of Seakirk ‘s dwellers were apathetic to the spectacle of corruptness in high topographic points and low, the gaming, the pack wars, the teen-age imbibing. They were used to the sight of their roads crumpling, their ancient H2O brinies spliting, their power workss interrupting down, their decrepit old edifices falling apart, while the foremans built bigger places, longer swimming pools and heater stallss. Peoples were used to it. But non Goodman.
A natural-born reformer, he wrote expose articles that were ne’er published, sent letters to Congress that were ne’er read, stumped for honest campaigners who were ne’er elected, and organized the League for Civic Improvement, the People Against Gangsterism, the Citizen ‘s Union for an Honest Police Force, the Association Against Gambling, the Committee for Equal Job Opportunities for Women, and a twelve others.
Nothing came of his attempts. The people were excessively apathetic to care. The politicoes merely laughed at him, and Goodman could n’t stand being laughed at. Then, to add to his problems, his bride-to-be jilted him for a noisy immature adult male in a loud athleticss jacket who had no redemptive characteristic other than a controlling involvement in the Seakirk Construction Corporation.
It was a shattering blow. The miss seemed unaffected by the fact that the SCC used disproportional sums of sand in their concrete and shaved whole inches from the breadth of their steel girders. As she put it, “ Gee ace, Marvie, so what? That ‘s how things are. You got ta be realistic. ”
Goodman had no purpose of being realistic. He instantly repaired to Eddie ‘s Moonlight Bar, where, between drinks, he began to contemplate the attractive forces of a grass hovel in the green snake pit of Venus.
An erect, hawk-faced old adult male entered the saloon. Goodman could state he was a spacer by his gravity-bound pace, his lividness, his radiation cicatrixs and his far-piercing grey eyes.
“ A Tranai Special, Sam, ” the old spacer told the barman.
“ Coming right up, Captain Savage, sir, ” the barman said.
“ Tranai? ” Goodman murmured involuntarily.
“ Tranai, ” the captain said. “ Never heard of it, did you, sonny? ”
“ No, sir, ” Goodman confessed.
“ Well, cub, ” Captain Savage said, “ I ‘m experiencing a mite wordy tonight, so I ‘ll state you a narrative of Tranai the Blessed, out past the Galactic Whirl. ”
The captain ‘s eyes grew brumous and a smiling softened the inexorable line of his lips.
“ We were iron work forces in steel ships in those yearss. Me and Johnny Cavanaugh and Frog Larsen would hold blasted to hell itself for half a burden of terganium. Aye, and shanghaied Beelzebub for a wiper if we were short of work forces. Those were the yearss when infinite scurvey took every 3rd adult male, and the shade of Big Dan McClintock haunted the spaceways. Moll Gann still operated the Red Rooster Inn out on Asteroid 342-AA, inquiring five 100 Earth dollars for a glass of beer, and acquiring it excessively, there being no other topographic point within 10 billion stat mis. In those yearss, the Scarbies were still cutting up along Star Ridge and ships edge for Prodengum had to run the Swayback Gantlet. So you can conceive of how I felt, cub, when one all right twenty-four hours I came upon Tranai. ”
Goodman listened as the old captain limned a image of the great yearss, of frail ships against an Fe sky, ships outward edge, everlastingly outward, to the far bounds of the Galaxy.
And at that place, at the border of the Great Nothing, was Tranai.
Tranai, where The Way had been found and work forces were no longer edge to The Wheel! Tranai the Bountiful, a peaceful, originative, happy society, non saints or abstainers, non intellectuals, but ordinary people who had achieved Utopia.
For an hr, Captain Savage spoke of the multiform wonders of Tranai. After completing his narrative, he complained of a dry pharynx. Space pharynx, he called it, and Goodman ordered him another Tranai Special and one for himself. Siping the alien, green-gray mixture, Goodman excessively was lost in the dream.
Finally, really gently, he asked, “ Why do n’t you travel back, Captain? ”
The old adult male shook his caput. “ Space urarthritis. I ‘m grounded for good. We did n’t cognize much about modern medical specialty in those yearss. All I ‘m good for now is a landlubber ‘s occupation. ”
“ What occupation do you hold? ”
“ I ‘m a chief for the Seakirk Construction Corporation, ” the old adult male sighed. “ Me, that one time commanded a fifty-tube limiter. The manner those people make concreteaˆ¦ Shall we have another short 1 in award of beautiful Tranai? ”
They had several short 1s. When Goodman left the saloon, his head was made up. Somewhere in the Universe, the modus vivendi had been found, the working solution to Man ‘s old dream of flawlessness.
He could settle for nil lupus erythematosus.
The following twenty-four hours, he quit his occupation as interior decorator at the East Coast Robot Works and drew his life savings out of the bank.
He was traveling to Tranai.
He boarded the Constellation Queen for Legis II and took the Galactic Splendor to Oume. After halting at Machang, Inchang, Pankang, Lekung and Oyster – drab small topographic points – he reached Tung-Bradar IV. Without incident, he passed the Galactic Whirl and eventually reached Bellismoranti, where the influence of Terra ended.
For an extortionate fee, a local spaceline took him to Dvasta II. From at that place, a bottom transported him past Seves, Olgo and Mi, to the dual planet Mvanti. There he was bogged down for three months and used the clip to take a hypno-pedic class in the Tranaian linguistic communication. At last he hired a shrub pilot to take him to Ding.
On Ding, he was arrested as a Higastomeritreian undercover agent, but managed to get away in the lading of an ore projectile edge for g’Moree. At g’Moree, he was treated for cryopathy, heat toxic condition and superficial radiation Burnss, and at last ordered transition to Tranai.
He could barely believe it when the ship slipped past the Moons Doe and Ri, to set down at Port Tranai.
After the air locks opened, Goodman found himself in a province of profound depression. Part of it was obviously letdown, inevitable after a journey such as his. But more than that, he was all of a sudden terrified that Tranai might turn out to be a fraud.
He had crossed the Galaxy on the footing of an old astronaut ‘s narration. But now it all seemed less likely. Eldorado was a more likely topographic point than the Tranai he expected to happen.
He disembarked. Port Tranai seemed a pleasant adequate town. The streets were filled with people and the stores were piled high with goods. The work forces he passed looked much like worlds anyplace. The adult females were rather attractive.
But there was something strange here, something subtly yet decidedly incorrect, something foreigner. It took a minute before he could perplex it out.
Then he realized that there were at least 10 work forces for every adult female in sight. And alien still, practically all the adult females he saw seemingly were under 18 or over 35.
What had happened to the nineteen-to-thirty-five age group? Was there a tabu on their appearance in public? Had a plague struck them?
He would merely hold to wait and happen out.
He went to the Idrig Building, where all Tranai ‘s governmental maps were carried out, and presented himself at the office of the Extraterrestrials Minister. He was admitted at one time.
The office was little and littered, with unusual bluish splodges on the wallpaper. What struck Goodman at one time was a high-octane rifle complete with silencer and telescopic sight, hanging ominously from one wall. He had no clip to theorize on this, for the curate bounded out of his chair and smartly shook Goodman ‘s manus.
The curate was a stout, reasonably adult male of about 50. Around his cervix he wore a little medallion stamped with the Tranian seal – a bolt of lightning dividing an ear of maize. Goodman assumed, right, that this was an official seal of office.
“ Welcome to Tranai, ” the curate said heartily. He pushed a heap of documents from a chair and motioned Goodman to sit down.
“ Mister Minister – ” Goodman began, in formal Tranian.
“ Den Melith is the name. Name me Den. We ‘re all rather informal around here. Put your pess up on the desk and do yourself at place. Cigar? ”
“ No, thank you, ” Goodman said, slightly taken back. “ Mister – ah – Den, I have come from Terra, a planet you may hold heard of. ”
“ Certain I have, ” said Melith. “ Nervous, hustling kind of topographic point, is n’t it? No discourtesy intended, of class. ”
“ Of class. That ‘s precisely how I feel about it. The ground I came here – ” Goodman hesitated, trusting he would n’t sound excessively pathetic. “ Well, I heard certain narratives about Tranai. Thinking them over now, they seem absurd. But if you do n’t mind, I ‘d wish to inquire you – ”
“ Ask anything, ” Melith said expansively. “ You ‘ll acquire a consecutive reply. ”
“ Thank you. I heard that there has been no war of any kind on Tranai for four hundred old ages. ”
“ Six hundred, ” Melith corrected. “ And none in sight. ”
“ Person told me that there is no offense on Tranai. ”
“ None whatsoever. ”
“ And hence no constabulary force or tribunals, no Judgess, sheriffs, United States Marshals Services, executioners, awol officers or authorities research workers. No prisons, reform schools or other topographic points of detainment. ”
“ We have no demand of them, ” Melith explained, “ since we have no offense. ”
“ I have heard, ” said Goodman, “ that there is no poorness on Tranai. ”
“ None that I of all time heard of, ” Melith said cheerfully. “ Are you certain you wo n’t hold a cigar? ”
“ No, thank you, ” Goodman was tilting frontward thirstily now. “ I understand that you have achieved a stable economic system without fall backing to socialistic, communistic, fascistic or bureaucratic patterns. ”
“ Surely, ” Melith said.
“ That yours is, in fact, a free endeavor society, where single enterprise flourishes and governmental maps are kept to an absolute lower limit. ”
Melith nodded. “ By and big, the authorities concerns itself with minor regulative affairs, attention of the aged and fancifying the landscape. ”
“ Is it true that you have discovered a method of wealth distribution without fall backing to governmental intercession, without even revenue enhancement, based wholly upon single pick? ” Goodman challenged.
“ Oh, yes, perfectly. ”
“ Is it true that there is no corruptness in any stage of the Tranaian authorities? ”
“ None, ” Melith said. “ I suppose that ‘s why we have a difficult clip happening work forces to keep public office. ”
“ Then Captain Savage was right! ” Goodman cried, unable to command himself any longer. “ This is Utopia! ”
“ We like it, ” Melith said.
Goodman took a deep breath and asked, “ May I stay here? ”
“ Why non? ” Melith pulled out a signifier. “ We have no limitations on in-migration. State me, what is your business? ”
“ On Earth, I was a automaton interior decorator. ”
“ Plenty of gaps in that. ” Melith started to make full in the signifier. His pen emitted a blob of ink. Casually, the curate threw the pen against the wall, where it shattered, adding another blue splodge to the wallpaper.
“ We ‘ll do out the paper some other clip, ” he said. “ I ‘m non in the temper now. ” He leaned back in his chair. “ Let me give you a word of advice. Here on Tranai, we feel that we have come reasonably close to Utopia, as you call it. But ours is non a extremely organized province. We have no complicated set of Torahs. We live by observation of a figure of unwritten Torahs, or imposts, as you might name them. You will detect what they are. You would be advised – although surely non ordered – to follow them. ”
“ Of class I will, ” Goodman exclaimed. “ I can guarantee you, sir, I have no purpose of jeopardizing any stage of your Eden. ”
“ Oh, I was n’t worried about us, ” Melith said with an diverted smiling. “ It was your ain safety I was sing. Possibly my married woman has some farther advice for you. ”
He pushed a big ruddy button on his desk. Immediately there was a blue haze. The haze solidified, and in a minute Goodman saw a fine-looking immature adult female standing before him.
“ Good forenoon, my beloved, ” she said to Melith.
“ It ‘s afternoon, ” Melith informed her. “ My beloved, this immature adult male came all the manner from Earth to populate on Tranai. I gave him the usual advice. Is at that place anything else we can make for him? ”
Mrs. Melith thought for a minute, so asked Goodman, “ Are you married? ”
“ No, dame, ” Goodman answered.
“ In that instance, he should run into a nice miss, ” Mrs. Melith told her hubby. “ Bachelordom is non encouraged on Tranai, although surely non prohibited. Let me seeaˆ¦ How about that cute Driganti miss? ”
“ She ‘s engaged, ” Melith said.
“ Truly? Have I been in stasis that long? My beloved, it ‘s non excessively thoughtful of you. ”
“ I was busy, ” Melith said apologetically.
“ How approximately Mihna Vensis? ”
“ Not his type. ”
“ Janna Vley? ”
“ Perfective! ” Melith winked at Goodman. “ A most attractive small lady. ” He found a new pen in his desk, scribbled an reference and handed it to Goodman. “ My married woman will telephone her to be anticipating you tomorrow flushing. ”
“ And do come around for dinner some dark, ” said Mrs. Melith.
“ Delighted, ” Goodman replied, in a complete shock.
“ It ‘s been nice meeting you, ” Mrs. Melith said. Her hubby pushed the ruddy button. The blue haze formed and Mrs. Melith vanished.
“ Have to shut up now, ” said Melith, peeking at his ticker. “ Ca n’t work overtime – people might get down talking.. Drop in some twenty-four hours and we ‘ll do out those signifiers. You truly should name on Supreme President Borg, excessively, at the National Mansion. Or perchance he ‘ll name on you. Do n’t allow the old fox put anything over on you. And do n’t bury about Janna. ” He winked roguishly and escorted Goodman to the door.
In a few minutes, Goodman found himself entirely on the pavement. He had reached Utopia, he told himself, a existent, echt, honest-to-god Utopia.
But there were some really enigmatic things about it
Goodman Ate dinner at a little eating house and checked in at a nearby hotel. A cheerful bellboy showed him to his room, where Goodman stretched out instantly on the bed. Tiredly he rubbed his eyes, seeking to screen out his feelings.
So much had happened to him, all in one twenty-four hours! And so much was trouble oneselfing him. The ratio of work forces to adult females, for illustration. He had meant to inquire Melith about that.
But Melith might non be the adult male to inquire, for there were some funny things about him. Like throwing his pen against the wall. Was that the act of a mature, responsible functionary? And Melith ‘s married woman.
Goodman knew that Mrs. Melith had come out of a derrsin stasis field ; he had recognized the characteristic blue haze. The derrsin was used on Terra, excessively. Sometimes there were good medical grounds for suspending all activity, all growing, all decay. Suppose a patient had a despairing demand for a certain serum, gettable merely on Mars. Simply project the individual into stasis until the serum could get.
But on Terra, merely a accredited physician could run the field. There were rigorous punishments for its abuse.
He had ne’er heard of maintaining one ‘s married woman in one.
Still, if all the married womans on Tranai were kept in stasis, that would explicate the absence of the nineteen-to-thirty-five age group and would account for the ten-to-one ratio of work forces to adult females.
But what was the ground for this technological solitude?
And something else was on Goodman ‘s head, something rather undistinguished, but bothersome all the same.
That rifle on Melith ‘s wall.
Did he run game with it? Reasonably large game, so. Target pattern? Not with a telescopic sight. Why the silencer? Why did he maintain it in his office?
But these were minor affairs, Goodman decided, small local foibles which would go clear when he had lived a piece on Tranai. He could n’t anticipate immediate and complete comprehension of what was, after all, an foreign planet.
He was merely get downing to snooze off when he heard a knock at his door.
“ Come in, ” he called.
A little, sneak, gray-faced adult male hurried in and closed the door behind him. “ You ‘re the adult male from Terra, are n’t you? ”
“ That ‘s right. ”
“ I figured you ‘d come here, ” the small adult male said, with a pleased smiling. “ Hit it right the first clip. Traveling to remain on Tranai? ”
“ I ‘m here for good. ”
“ Fine, ” the adult male said. “ How would you like to go Supreme President? ”
“ Huh? ”
“ Good wage, easy hours, merely a annual term. You look like a public-spirited type, ” the adult male said pleasantly. “ How about it? ”
Goodman barely knew what to reply. “ Do you intend, ” he asked unbelievingly, “ that you offer the highest office in the land so casually? ”
“ What do you intend, casually? ” the small adult male spluttered. “ Do you believe we offer the Supreme Presidency to merely anybody? It ‘s a great award to be asked. ”
“ I did n’t intend – ”
“ And you, as a Terran, are unambiguously suited. ”
“ Why? ”
“ Well, it ‘s common cognition that Terrans derive pleasance from governing. We Tranians do n’t, that ‘s all. Too much problem. ”
Equally simple as that. The reformer blood in Goodman began to boil. Ideal as Tranai was, there was undoubtedly room for betterment. He had a sudden vision of himself as swayer of Utopia, making the great undertaking of doing flawlessness even better. But cautiousness stopped him from holding at one time. Possibly the adult male was a crank.
“ Thank you for inquiring me, ” Goodman said. “ I ‘ll hold to believe it over. Possibly I should speak with the present officeholder and happen out something about the nature of the work. ”
“ Well, why do you believe I ‘m here? ” the small adult male demanded. “ I ‘m Supreme President Borg. ”
Merely so did Goodman detect the official medallion around the small adult male ‘s cervix.
“ Let me cognize your determination. I ‘ll be at the National Mansion. ” He shook Goodman ‘s manus, and left.
Goodman waited five proceedingss, so rang for the bellboy. “ Who was that adult male? ”
“ That was Supreme President Borg, ” the bellboy told him. “ Did you take the occupation? ”
Goodman shook his caput easy. He all of a sudden realized that he had a great trade to larn about Tranai.
The following forenoon, Goodman listed the assorted robot mills of Port Tranai in alphabetical order and went out in hunt of a occupation. To his astonishment, he found one with no problem at all, at the really first topographic point he looked. The great Abbag Home Robot Works signed him on after merely a casual glimpse at his certificates.
His new employer, Mr. Abbag, was short and fierce-looking, with a great mane of white hair and an air of enormous personal energy.
“ Gladiolus to hold a Terran on board, ” Abbag said. “ I understand you ‘re an clever people and we surely need some inventiveness around here. I ‘ll be honest with you, Goodman – I ‘m trusting to gain by your foreign point of view. We ‘ve reached an deadlock. ”
“ Is it a production job? ” Goodman asked.
“ I ‘ll demo you. ” Abbag led Goodman through the mill, around the Stamping Room, Heat-Treat, X-ray Analysis, Final Assembly and to the Testing Room. This room was laid out like a combination kitchen-living room. A twelve automatons ‘ were lined up against one wall.
“ Try one out, ” Abbag said.
Goodman walked up to the nearest automaton and looked at its controls. They were simple plenty ; self-explanatory, in fact. He put the machine through a standard repertory: picking up objects, rinsing pots and pans, puting a tabular array. The automaton ‘s responses were right plenty, but maddeningly slow. On Earth, such lethargy had been ironed out a hundred old ages ago. Apparently they were behind the times here on Tranai.
“ Seems pretty slow, ” Goodman commented carefully.
“ You ‘re right, ” Abbag said. “ Damned slow. Personally, I think it ‘s approximately right. But Consumer Research indicates that our clients want it slower still. ”
“ Huh? ”
“ Pathetic, is n’t it? ” Abbag asked moodily. “ We ‘ll lose money if we slow it down any more. Take a expression at its backbones. ”
Goodman opened the back panel and blinked at the labyrinth of wiring within. After a minute, he was able to calculate it out. The automaton was built like a modern Earth machine, with the usual cheap high-speed circuits. But particular signal-delay relays, impulse-rejection units and step-down cogwheels had been installed.
“ Merely state me, ” Abbag demanded angrily, “ how can we decelerate it down any more without constructing the thing a 3rd bigger and twice as expensive? I do n’t cognize what sort of a disimprovement they ‘ll be inquiring for following. ”
Goodman was seeking to set Bi believing to the construct of disimproving a machine.
On Earth, the workss were ever seeking to construct automatons with faster, smoother, more accurate responses. He had ne’er found any ground to oppugn the wisdom of this. He still did n’t.
“ And as if that were n’t plenty, ” Abbag complained, “ the new plastic we developed for this peculiar theoretical account has catalyzed or some blasted thing. Watch. ”
He drew back his pes and kicked the automaton in the center. The fictile set like a sheet of Sn. He kicked once more. The plastic set still further and the automaton began to snap and blink pitiably. A 3rd boot shattered the instance. The automaton ‘s visceras exploded in dramatic manner, dispersing over the floor. “ Pretty onionskin, ” Goodman said.
“ Not flimsy plenty. It ‘s supposed to wing apart on the first boot. Our clients wo n’t acquire any satisfaction out of stubbing their toes on its tummy all twenty-four hours. But state me, how am I supposed to bring forth a plastic that ‘ll take normal wear and tear – we do n’t desire these things falling apart by chance – and still travel to pieces when a client wants it to? ”
“ Wait a minute, ” Goodman protested. “ Let me acquire this heterosexual. You intentionally decelerate these automatons down so they will annoy people plenty to destruct them? ”
Abbag raised both superciliums. “ Of class! ”
“ Why? ”
“ You are new here, ” Abbag said. “ Any kid knows that. It ‘s cardinal. ”
“ I ‘d appreciate it if you ‘d explicate. ”
Abbag sighed. “ Well, foremost of all, you are doubtless cognizant that any mechanical appliance is a beginning of annoyance. Human-kind has a deep and staying misgiving of machines. Psychologists call it the natural reaction of life to pseudo-life. Will you go along with me on that? ”
Marvin Goodman remembered all the dying literature he had read about machines revolting, cybernetic encephalons taking over the universe, humanoids on the March, and the similar. He thought of humourous small newspaper points about a adult male hiting his telecasting set, nailing his wassailer against the wall, “ acquiring even ” with his auto. He remembered all the automaton gags, with their undertone of deep ill will.
“ I guess I can travel along on that, ” said Goodman.
“ Then let me to repeat the proposition, ” Abbag said pedantically. “ Any machine is a beginning of annoyance. The better a machine operates, the stronger the annoyance. So, by extension, a absolutely runing machine is a focal point for defeat, loss of self-esteem, adrift bitterness – ”
“ Keep on there! ” Goodman objected. “ I wo n’t travel that far! ”
“ – and schizophrenic phantasies, ” Abbag continued inexorably. “ But machines are necessary to an advanced economic system. Therefore the best human solution is to hold misfunctioning 1s. ”
“ I do n’t see that at all. ”
“ It ‘s obvious. On Terra, your appliances work near to the optimum, bring forthing lower status feelings in their operators. But unluckily you have a masochistic tribal taboo against destructing them. Result? Generalized anxiousness in the presence of the sacrosanct and unhumanly efficient Machine, and a hunt for an aggression-object, normally a married woman or friend. A really hapless province of personal businesss. Oh, it ‘s efficient, I suppose, in footings of robot-hour production, but really inefficient in footings of long-range wellness and wellbeing. ”
“ I ‘m non certain – ”
“ The homo is an dying animal. Here on Tranai, we direct anxiety toward this peculiar point and allow it function as an mercantile establishment for a batch of other defeats as good. A adult male ‘s had adequate – blam! He kicks snake pit out of his automaton. There ‘s an immediate and curative discharge of feeling, a valuable – and valid – sense of high quality over mere machinery, a decrease of general tenseness, a healthy flow of epinephrine into the blood stream, and a encouragement to the industrial economic system of Tranai, since he ‘ll travel right out and purchase another automaton. And what, after all, has he done? He has n’t beaten his married woman, suicided, declared a war, invented a new arm, or indulged in any of the other more common manners of aggression-resolution. He has merely smashed an cheap automaton which he can replace instantly. ”
“ I guess it ‘ll take me a small clip to understand, ” Goodman admitted.
“ Of class it will. I ‘m certain you ‘re traveling to be a valuable adult male here, Goodman. Think over what I ‘ve said and seek to calculate out some cheap manner of disimproving this automaton. ”
Goodman pondered the job for the remainder of the twenty-four hours, but he could n’t instantly set his thought to the thought of bring forthing an inferior machine. It seemed mistily profane. He knocked off work at five-thirty, disgruntled with himself, but determined to make better – or worse, depending on point of view and conditioning.
After a speedy and alone supper, Goodman decided to name on Janna Vley. He did n’t desire to pass the eventide entirely with his ideas and he was in despairing demand of happening something pleasant, simple and unsophisticated in this complex Utopia. Possibly this Janna would be the reply.
The Vley place was merely a twelve blocks off and he decided to walk.
The basic problem was that he had had his ain thought of what Utopia would be like and it was hard seting his thought to the existent thing. He had imagined a pastoral scene, a planetful of people in little, quaint small towns, walking around in fluxing robes and being really wise and soft and understanding. Children who played in the aureate sunshine, immature common people danced in the small town squareaˆ¦
Pathetic! He had pictured a tableau instead than a scene, a series of conventionalized positions alternatively of the constant motion of life. Worlds could ne’er populate that manner, even presuming they wanted to. If they could, they would no longer be worlds.
He reached the Vley house and paused irresolutely outside. What was he acquiring himself into now? What alien – although beyond doubt Utopian – imposts would he run into?
He about turned away. But the chance of a long dark entirely in his hotel room was singularly unsympathetic. Griting his dentition, he rang the bell.
A red-haired, middle-aged adult male of medium tallness opened the door. “ Oh, you must be that Terran chap. Janna ‘s acquiring ready. Come in and run into the married woman. ”
He escorted Goodman into a cheerily furnished life room and pushed a ruddy button on the wall. Goodman was n’t startled this clip by the blue derrsin haze. After all, the mode in which Tranaians treated their adult females was their ain concern.
A fine-looking adult female of about 28 appeared from the haze.
“ My beloved, ” Vley said, “ this is the Terran, Mr. Goodman. ”
“ So pleased to run into you, ” Mrs. Vley said. “ Can I acquire you a drink? ”
Goodman nodded. Vley pointed out a comfy chair. In a minute, Mrs. Vley brought in a tray of frosted drinks and sat down.
“ So you ‘re from Terra, ” said Mr. Vley. “ Nervous, hustling kind of topographic point, is n’t it? People ever on the spell? ”
“ Yes, I suppose it is, ” Goodman replied.
“ Well, you ‘ll wish it here. We know how to populate. It ‘s all a affair of – ”
There was a rustling of skirts on the steps. Goodman got to his pess.
“ Mr. Goodman, this is our girl Janna, ” Mrs. Vley said.
Goodman noted at one time that Janna ‘s hair was the exact colour of the supernova in Circe, her eyes were that deep, incredible blue of the fall sky over Algo II, her lips were the stamp pink of a Scarsclott-Turner jet watercourse, her nose –
But he had run out of astronomical comparings, which were n’t suited anyhow. Janna was a slender and surprisingly pretty blond miss and Goodman was all of a sudden really glad he had crossed the Galaxy and come to Tranai.
“ Have a good clip, kids, ” Mrs. Vley said.
“ Do n’t come in excessively late, ” Mr. Vley told Janna.
Precisely as parents said on Earth to their kids.
There was nil alien about the day of the month. They went to an cheap dark nine, danced, imbibe a small, talked a batch.
Goodman was amazed at their immediate resonance. Janna agreed with everything he said. It was reviewing to happen intelligence in so reasonably a miss.
She was impressed, about overwhelmed, by the dangers he had faced in traversing the Galaxy. She had ever known that Terrans were adventuresome ( though nervous ) types, but the hazards Goodman had taken passed all apprehension.
She shuddered when he spoke of the deathly Galactic Whirl and listened wide-eyed to his narratives of running the ill-famed Swayback Gantlet, past the bloodthirsty Scarbies who were still cutting up along Star Ridge and overruning the snake pit holes of Prodengum. As Goodman put it, Terrans were iron work forces in steel ships, researching the borders of the Great Nothing.
Janna did n’t even talk until Goodman told of paying five hundred Terran dollars for a glass of beer at Moll Gann ‘s Red Rooster Inn on Asteroid 342-AA.
“ You must hold been really thirsty, ” she said thoughtfully.
“ Not peculiarly, ” Goodman said. “ Money merely did n’t intend much out at that place. ”
“ Oh. But would n’t it hold been better to hold saved it? I mean someday you might hold a married woman and kids – ” She blushed.
Goodman said nervelessly, “ Well, that portion of my life is over. I ‘m traveling to get married and settle down right here on Tranai. ”
“ How nice! ” she cried.
It was a most successful eventide.
Goodman returned Janna to her place at a respectable hr and arranged a day of the month for the undermentioned eventide. Made bold by his ain narratives, he kissed her on the cheek. She did n’t truly look to mind, but Goodman did n’t seek to press his advantage.
“ Till tomorrow so, ” she said, smiled at him, and closed the door.
He walked away feeling faint. Janna! Janna! Was it imaginable that he was in love already? Why non? Love at first sight was a proved psycho-physiological possibility and, as such, was absolutely respectable. Love in Utopia! How fantastic it was that here, upon a perfect planet, he had found the perfect miss!
A adult male stepped out of the shadows and blocked his way. Goodman noted that he was have oning a black silk mask which covered everything except his eyes. He was transporting a big and powerful-looking chargeman, and it was pointed steadily at Goodman ‘s tummy.
“ Okay, brother, ” the adult male said, “ gim me all your money. ”
“ What? ” Goodman gasped.
“ You heard me. Your money. Hand it over. ”
“ You ca n’t make this, ” Goodman said, excessively startled to believe coherently. “ There ‘s no offense on Tranai! ”
“ Who said there was? ” the adult male asked softly. “ I ‘m simply inquiring you for your money. Are you traveling to manus it over peacefully or do I have to club it out of you? ”
“ You ca n’t acquire off with this! Crime does non pay! ”
“ Do n’t be pathetic, ” the adult male said. He hefted the heavy chargeman.
“ All right. Do n’t acquire excited. ” Goodman pulled out his wallet, which contained all he had in the universe, and gave its contents to the masked adult male.
The adult male counted it, and he seemed impressed. “ Better than I expected. Thankss, brother. Take it easily now. ”
He hurried off down a dark street.
Goodman looked wildly around for a police officer, until he remembered that there were no constabulary on Tranai. He saw a little cocktail sofa on the corner with a neon mark stating Kitty Kat Bar. He hurried into it.
Inside, there was merely a barman, sombrely pass overing spectacless.
“ I ‘ve been robbed! ” Goodman shouted at him.
“ So? ” the barman said, non even looking up.
“ But I thought at that place was n’t any offense on Tranai. ”
“ There is n’t. ”
“ But I was robbed. ”
“ You must be new here, ” the barman said, eventually looking at him.
“ I merely came in from Terra. ”
“ Terra? Nervous, hustling kind of – ”
“ Yes, yes, ” Goodman said. He was acquiring a small tired of that stereotype. “ But how can at that place be no offense on Tranai if I was robbed? ”
“ That should be obvious. On Tranai, robbery is no offense. ”
“ But robbery is ever a offense! ”
“ What colour mask was he have oning? ”
Goodman thought for a minute. “ Black. Black silk. ”
The barman nodded. “ Then he was a authorities revenue enhancement aggregator. ”
“ That ‘s a pathetic manner to roll up revenue enhancements, ” Goodman snapped.
The barman set a Tranai Special in forepart of Goodman. “ Try to see this in footings of the general public assistance. The authorities has to hold some money. By roll uping it this manner, we can avoid the necessity of an income revenue enhancement, with all its complicated legal and legislative setup. And in footings of mental wellness, it ‘s far better to pull out money in a short, speedy, painless operation than to allow the citizen to worry all twelvemonth long about paying at a specific day of the month. ”
Goodman downed his drink and the barman set up another.
“ But, ” Goodman said, “ I thought this was a society based upon the constructs of free will and single enterprise. ”
“ It is, ” the barman told him. “ Then certainly the authorities, what small there is of it, has the same right to liberate will as any private citizen, has n’t it? ”
Goodman could n’t quite figure that out, so he finished his 2nd drink. “ Could I have another of those? I ‘ll pay you every bit shortly as I can. ”
“ Certain, certain, ” the barman said good-naturedly, pouring another drink and one for himself.
Goodman said, “ You asked me what color his mask was. Why? ”
“ Black is the authorities mask colour. Private citizens wear white masks. ”
“ You mean that private citizens commit robbery besides? ”
“ Well, surely! That ‘s our method of wealth distribution. Money is equalized without authorities intercession, without even revenue enhancement, wholly in footings of single enterprise. ” The barman nodded decidedly. “ And it works absolutely, excessively. Robbery is a great leveller, you know. ”
“ I suppose it is, ” Goodman admitted, completing his 3rd drink. “ If I understand right, so, any citizen can pack a chargeman, put on a mask, and travel out and rob. ”
“ Precisely, ” the barman said. “ Within bounds, of class. ”
Goodman snorted. “ If that ‘s how it works, I can play that manner. Could you loan me a mask? And a gun? ”
The barman reached under the saloon. “ Be certain to return them, though. Family heirlooms. ”
“ I ‘ll return them, ” Goodman promised. “ And when I come back, I ‘ll pay for my drinks. ”
He slipped the chargeman into his belt, donned the mask and left the saloon. If this was how things worked on Tranai, he could set all right. Rob him, would they? He ‘d rob them right back and so some!
He found a appropriately dark street corner and huddled in the shadows, waiting. Soon he heard footfalls and, peering around the corner, saw a portly, well-groomed Tranaian travel rapidlying down the street.
Goodman stepped in forepart of him, snaping, “ Keep it, buddy. ”
The Tranaian stopped and looked at Goodman ‘s chargeman. “ Hmmm. Using a wide-aperture Drog 3, eh? Rather an antique arm. How do you like it? ”
“ It ‘s all right, ” Goodman said. “ Hand over your – ”
“ Slow trigger action, though, ” the Tranaian mused. “ Personally, I recommend a Mils-Sleeven needler. As it happens, I ‘m a gross revenues representative for Sleeven Arms. I could acquire you a really good monetary value on a trade-in – ”
“ Hand over your money, ” Goodman barked.
The portly Tranaian smiled. “ The basic defect of your Drog 3 is the fact that it wo n’t fire at all unless you release the safety lock. ” He reached out and slapped the gun out of Goodman ‘s manus. “ You see? You could n’t hold done a thing about it. ” He started to walk off.
Goodman scooped up the chargeman, found the safety lock, released it and hurried after the Tranaian.
“ Stick up your custodies, ” Goodman ordered, get downing to experience somewhat despairing.
“ No, no, my good adult male, ” the Tranaian said, non even looking back. “ Merely one attempt to a client. Must n’t interrupt the unwritten jurisprudence, you know. ”
Goodman stood and watched until the adult male turned a corner and was gone. He checked the Drog 3 carefully and made sure that all safeties were away. Then he resumed his station.
After an hr ‘s delay, he heard footsteps once more. He tightened his clasp on the chargeman. This clip he was traveling to rob and nil was traveling to halt him.
“ Okay, brother, ” he said, “ hands up! ”
The victim this clip was a short, compact Tranaian, dressed in old workingman ‘s apparels. He gaped at the gun in Goodman ‘s manus.
“ Do n’t hit, Mister, ” the Tranaian pleaded.
That was more like it! Goodman felt a freshness of deep satisfaction.
“ Merely do n’t travel, ” he warned. “ I ‘ve got all safeties off. ”
“ I can see that, ” the compact adult male said cringing. “ Be careful with that cannon, Mister. I ai n’t traveling a hair. ”
“ You ‘d break non. Hand over your money. ”
“ Money? ”
“ Yes ; your money, and be speedy about it. ”
“ I do n’t hold any money, ” the adult male whined. “ Mister, I ‘m a hapless adult male. I ‘m destitute. ”
“ There is no poorness on Tranai, ” Goodman said pithily.
“ I know. But you can acquire so near to it, you would n’t cognize the difference. Give me a interruption, Mister. ”
“ Have n’t you any inaugural? ” Goodman asked. “ If you ‘re hapless, why do n’t you travel out and rob like everybody else? ”
“ I merely have n’t had a opportunity. First the child got the whooping cough and I was up every dark with her. Then the derrsin broke down, so I had the married woman yakking at me all twenty-four hours long. I say there oughta be a trim derrsin in every house! So she decided to clean the topographic point while the derrsin generator was being fixed and she put my chargeman someplace and she ca n’t retrieve where. So I was all set to borrow a friend ‘s chargeman when – ”
“ That ‘s adequate, ” Goodman said. “ This is a robbery and I ‘m traveling to rob you of something. Hand over your billfold. ”
The adult male snuffled miserably and gave Goodman a worn wallet. Inside it, Goodman found one deeglo, the equivalent of a Terran dollar.
“ It ‘s all I got, ” the adult male snuffled miserably, “ but you ‘re welcome to it. I know how it is, standing on a draughty street corner all dark – ”
“ Keep it, ” Goodman said, passing the wallet back to the adult male and walking off.
“ Gee, thanks, Mister! ”
Goodman did n’t reply. Desolately, he returned to the Kitty Kat Bar and gave back the barman ‘s chargeman and mask. When he explained what had happened, the barman explosion into ill-mannered laughter.
“ Did n’t hold any money! Man, that ‘s the oldest fast one in the books. Everybody carries a bogus billfold for robberies – sometimes two or even three. Did you search him? ”
“ No, ” Goodman confessed.
“ Brother, are you a greenhorn! ”
“ I guess I am. Look, I truly will pay you for those drinks every bit shortly as I can do some money. ”
“ Certain, certain, ” the barman said. “ You better travel place and acquire some slumber. You had a busy dark. ”
Goodman agreed. Tiredly he returned to his hotel room and was asleep every bit shortly as his caput hit the pillow.
He reported at the Abbag Home Robot Works and manly grappled with the job of disimproving zombi. Even in dehumanized work such as this, Terran inventiveness began to state.
Goodman began to develop a new plastic for the automaton ‘s instance. It was a silicone, a relation of the “ cockamamie putty ” that had appeared on Earth a long piece back. It had the coveted belongingss of stamina, resilience and long wear ; it would stand a batch of maltreatment, excessively. But the instance would shatter instantly and with dramatic consequence upon having a boot delivered with an impact of 30 lbs or more.
His employer praised him for this development, gave him a fillip ( which he sorely needed ) , and told him to maintain working on the thought and, if possible, to convey the needful impact down to 23 lbs. This, the research section told them, was the mean defeat boot.
He was kept so busy that he had practically no clip to research farther the mores and folkways of Tranai. He did pull off to see the Citizen ‘s Booth. This uniquely Tranaian establishment was housed in a little edifice on a quiet back street.
Upon come ining, he was confronted by a big board, upon which was listed the names of the present officers of Tranai, and their rubrics. Beside each name was a button. The attendant told Goodman that, by pressing a button, a citizen expressed his disapproval of that functionary ‘s Acts of the Apostless. The pressed button was automatically registered in History Hall and was a lasting grade against the officer.
No bush leagues were allowed to press the buttons, of class. Goodman considered this slightly ineffective ; but possibly, he told himself, functionaries on Tranai were otherwise motivated from those on Earth.
He saw Janna about every eventide and together they explored the many cultural facets of Tranai: the cocktail sofas and films, the concert halls, the art exhibitions, the scientific discipline museum, the carnivals and festivals. Goodman carried a chargeman and, after several unsuccessful efforts, robbed a merchandiser of about five 100 deeglo.
Janna was enraptured over the accomplishment, as any reasonable Tranaian miss would be, and they celebrated at the Kitty Kat Bar. Janna ‘s parents agreed that Goodman seemed to be a good supplier.
The undermentioned dark, the five hundred deeglo – plus some of Goodman ‘s fillip money – was robbed back, by a adult male of about the size and physique of the barman at the Kitty Kat, transporting an ancient Drog 3 chargeman.
Goodman consoled himself with the idea that the money was go arounding freely, as the system had intended.
Then he had another victory. One twenty-four hours at the Abbag Home Robot Works, he discovered a wholly new procedure for doing a automaton ‘s instance. It was a particular plastic, imperviable even to serious bumps and falls. The automaton proprietor had to have on particular places, with a catalytic agent imbedded in the heels. When he kicked the automaton, the accelerator came in contact with the plastic instance, with immediate and satisfying consequence.
Abbag was a small uncertain at first ; it seemed excessively gimmicky. But the thing caught on like wildfire and the Home Robot Works went into the shoe concern as a subordinate, I selling at least one brace with every automaton.
This horizontal industrial development was really satisfying to the works ‘s shareholders and was truly more of import than the original catalyst-plastic find. Goodman received a significant rise in wage and a generous fillip.
On the crest of his triumphant moving ridge, he proposed to Janna and was immediately accepted. Her parents favored the lucifer ; all that remained was to obtain official countenance from the authorities, since Goodman was still technically an foreigner.
Consequently, he took a twenty-four hours off from work and walked down to the Idrig Building to see Melith. It was a glorious spring twenty-four hours of the kind that Tranai has for 10 months out of the twelvemonth, and Goodman walked with a visible radiation and bouncy measure. He was in love, a success in concern, and shortly to go a citizen of Utopia.
Of class, Utopia could utilize some alterations, for even Tranai was n’t rather perfect. Possibly he should accept the Supreme Presidency, in order to do the needful reforms. But there was no rushaˆ¦
“ Hey, Mister, ” a voice said, “ can you save a deeglo? ”
Goodman looked down and saw, crouching on the paving, an common old adult male, dressed in shreds, keeping out a Sn cup.
“ What? ” Goodman asked.
“ Can you save a deeglo, brother? ” the adult male repeated in a wheedling voice. “ Help a hapless adult male purchase a cup of oglo? Have n’t eaten in two yearss, Mister. ”
“ This is scandalous! Why do n’t you acquire a chargeman and travel out and rob person? ”
“ I ‘m excessively old, ” the adult male whimpered. “ My victims merely laugh at me. ”
“ Are you certain you are n’t merely lazy? ” Goodman asked severely.
“ I ‘m non, sir! ” the mendicant said. “ Merely look how my custodies shake! ”
He held out both soiled paws ; they trembled.
Goodman took out his wallet and gave the old adult male a deeglo. “ I thought there was no poorness on Tranai. I understood that the authorities took attention of the aged. ”
“ The authorities does, ” said the old adult male. “ Look. ” He held out his cup. Engraved on its side was: authorities authorized BEGGAR, NUMBER DR-43241-3.
“ You mean the authorities makes you make this? ”
“ The authorities lets me make it, ” the old adult male told him. “ Begging is a authorities occupation and is reserved for the aged and infirm. ”
“ Why, that ‘s scandalous! ”
“ You must be a alien here. ”
“ I ‘m a Terran. ”
“ Aha! Nervous, hustling kind of people, are n’t you? ”
“ Our authorities does non allow people implore, ” Goodman said.
“ No? What do the old people do? Populate off their kids? Or sit in some place for the aged and wait for decease by ennui? Not here, immature adult male. On Tranai, every old adult male is assured of a authorities occupation, and one for which he needs no peculiar accomplishment, although accomplishment helps. Some apply for indoor work, within the churches and theaters. Others like the exhilaration of carnivals and carnivals. Personally, I like it outdoors. My occupation maintain me out in the sunshine and fresh air, gives me mild exercising, and helps me run into many unusual and interesting people, such as yourself. ”
“ But imploring! ”
“ What other work would I be suited for? ”
“ I do n’t cognize. But – but look at you! Dirty, unwashed, in foul apparels – ”
“ These are my on the job apparels, ” the authorities mendicant said. “ You should see me on Sunday. ”
“ You have other apparels? ”
“ I surely do, and a pleasant small flat, and a season box at the opera, and two Home Robots, and likely more money in the bank than you ‘ve seen in your life. It ‘s been pleasant speaking to you, immature adult male, and thanks for your part. But now I must return to work and propose you do similarly. ”
Goodman walked off, peeking over his shoulder at the authorities mendicant. He observed that the old adult male seemed to be making a thriving concern.
Truly, that kind of thing should be stopped. If he of all time assumed the Presidency – and rather evidently he should – he would look into the whole affair more carefully.
It seemed to him that there had to be a more dignified reply.
At the Idrig Building, Goodman told Melith about his matrimony programs.
The in-migrations curate was enthusiastic.
“ Fantastic, perfectly fantastic, ” he said. “ I ‘ve known the Vley household for a long clip. They ‘re glorious people. And Janna is a girl any adult male would be proud of. ”
“ Are n’t at that place some formalities I should travel through? ” Goodman asked. “ I mean being an foreigner and all – ”
“ None whatsoever. I ‘ve decided to distribute with the formalities. You can go a citizen of Tranai, if you wish, by simply saying your purpose verbally. Or you can retain Terran citizenship, with no difficult feelings. Or you can make both – be a citizen of Terra and Tranai. If Terra does n’t mind, we surely do n’t. ”
“ I think I ‘d wish to go a citizen of Tranai, ” Goodman said.
“ It ‘s wholly up to you. But if you ‘re believing about the Presidency, you can retain Terran position and still keep office. We are n’t at all stuffy about that kind of thing. One of our most successful Supreme Presidents was a lizard-evolved fellow from Aquarella XI. ”
“ What an enlightened attitude! ”
“ Certain, give everybody a opportunity, that ‘s our slogan. Now as to your matrimony – any authorities employee can execute the ceremonials. Supreme President Borg would be happy to make it, this afternoon if you like. ” Melith winked. “ The old codger likes to snog the bride. But I think he ‘s truly fond of you. ”
“ This afternoon? ” Goodman said. “ Yes, I would wish to be married this afternoon, if it ‘s all right with Janna. ”
“ It likely will be, ” Melith assured him. “ Following, where are you traveling to populate after the honeymoon? A hotel room is barely suited. ” He thought for a minute. “ Tell you what – I ‘ve got a small house on the border of town. Why do n’t you travel in at that place, until you find something better? Or remain for good, if you like it. ”
“ Truly, ” Goodman protested, “ you ‘re excessively generous – ”
“ Think nil of it. Have you of all time thought of going the following in-migrations curate? You might wish the work. No ruddy tape, short hours, good wage – No? Get your oculus on the Supreme Presidency, eh? Ca n’t fault you, I suppose. ”
Melith dug in his pockets and found two keys. “ This is for the front door and this is for the dorsum. The reference is stamped right on them. The topographic point is to the full equipped, including a bran-new derrsin field generator. ”
“ A derrsin? ”
“ Surely. No place on Tranai is complete without a derrsin stasis field generator. ”
Uncluttering his pharynx, Goodman said carefully, “ I ‘ve been intending to inquire you – precisely what is the stasis field used for? ”
“ Why, to maintain one ‘s married woman in, ” Melith answered. “ I thought you knew. ”
“ I did, ” said Goodman. “ But why? ”
“ Why? ” Melith frowned. Apparently the inquiry had ne’er entered his caput. “ Why does one make anything? It ‘s the usage, that ‘s all. And really logical, excessively. You would n’t desire a adult female clicking around you all the clip, dark and twenty-four hours. ”
Goodman blushed, because of all time since he had met Janna, he had been believing how pleasant it would be to hold her around him all the clip, dark and twenty-four hours.
“ It barely seems just to the adult females, ” Goodman pointed out.
Melith laughed. “ My beloved friend, are you prophesying the philosophy of equality of the sexes? Truly, it ‘s a wholly disproved theory. Men and adult females merely are n’t the same. They ‘re different, no affair what you ‘ve been told on Terra. What ‘s good for work forces is n’t needfully – or even normally – good for adult females. ”
“ Therefore you treat them as inferiors, ” Goodman said, his reformist ‘s blood beginning to boil.
“ Not at all. We treat them in a different mode from work forces, but non in an inferior mode. Anyhow, they do n’t object. ”
“ That ‘s because they have n’t been allowed to cognize any better. Is at that place any jurisprudence that requires me to maintain my married woman in the derrsin field? ”
“ Of class non. The usage merely suggests that you maintain her out of stasis for a certain minimal sum of clip every hebdomad. No just imprisoning the small adult female, you know. ”
“ Of class non, ” Goodman said sardonically. “ Must allow her unrecorded some of the clip. ”
“ Precisely, ” Melith said, seeing no irony in what Goodman said. “ You ‘ll catch on. ”
Goodman stood up. “ Is that all? ”
“ I guess that ‘s about it. Good fortune and all that. ”
“ Thank you, ” Goodman said stiffly, turned aggressively and left.
That afternoon, Supreme President Borg performed the simple Tranaian matrimony rites at the National Mansion and subsequently kissed the bride with ardor. It was a beautiful ceremonial and was marred by merely one thing.
Hanging on Borg ‘s wall was a rifle, complete with telescopic sight and silencer. It was a twin to Melith ‘s and merely as incomprehensible.
Borg took Goodman to one side and asked, “ Have you given any farther idea to the Supreme Presidency? ”
“ I ‘m still sing it, ” Goodman said. “ I do n’t truly desire to keep public office – ”
“ No 1 does. ”
“ -A but there are certain reforms that Tranai needs severely. I think it may be my responsibility to convey them to the attending of the people. ”
“ That ‘s the spirit, ” Borg said approvingly. “ We have n’t had a truly enterprising Supreme President for some clip. Why do n’t you take office right now? Then you could hold your honeymoon in the National Mansion with complete privateness. ”
Goodman was tempted. But he did n’t desire to be bothered by personal businesss of province on his honeymoon, which was all arranged anyhow. Since Tranai had lasted so long in its present near-utopian status, it would doubtless maintain for a few hebdomads more.
“ I ‘ll see it when I come back, ” Goodman said.
Borg shrugged. “ Well, I guess I can bear the load a piece longer. Oh, here. ” He handed Goodman a certain envelope.
“ What ‘s this? ”
“ Merely the standard advice, ” Borg said. “ Hurry, your bride ‘s waiting for you! ”
“ Come on, Marvin! ” Janna called. “ We do n’t desire to be tardily for the starship! ”
Goodman hurried after her, into the spaceport limousine. “ Good fortune! ” her parents cried. “ Good fortune! ” Borg shouted.
“ Good fortune! ” added Melith and his married woman, and all the invitees. On the manner to the spaceport, Goodman opened the envelope and read the printed sheet within:
Advice TO A NEW HUSBAND
You have merely been married and you expect, rather of course, a life-time of conjugal cloud nine. This is absolutely proper, for a happy matrimony is the foundation of good authorities. But you must make more than simply wish for it. Good matrimony is non yours by Godhead right. A good matrimony must be worked for!
Remember that your married woman is a human being. She should be allowed a certain step of freedom as her unalienable right. We suggest you take her out of stasis at least one time a hebdomad. Too long in stasis is bad for her orientation. Excessively much stasis is bad for her skin color and this will be your loss every bit good as hers.
At intervals, such as holidaies and vacations, it ‘s customary to allow your married woman remain out of stasis for an full twenty-four hours at a clip, or even two or three yearss. It will make no injury and the freshness will make admirations for her province of head.
Keep in head these few common-sense regulations and you can be assured of a happy matrimony.
-A By the Government Marriage Council
Goodman easy tore the card into small spots, and allow them drop to the floor of the limousine. His reforming spirit was now exhaustively aroused. He had known that Tranai was excessively good to be true. Person had to pay for flawlessness. In this instance, it was the adult females.
He had found the first serious defect in Eden.
“ What was that, dear? ” Janna asked, looking at the spots of paper.
“ That was some really foolish advice, ” Goodman said. “ Dear, have you of all time thought – truly thought – about the matrimony imposts of this planet of yours? ”
“ I do n’t believe I have. Are n’t they all right? ”
“ They are incorrect, wholly incorrect. They treat adult females like playthings, like small dolls that one puts off when 1 is finished playing. Ca n’t you see that? ”
“ I ne’er thought about it. ”
“ Well, you can believe about it now, ” Goodman told her, “ because some alterations are traveling to be made and they ‘re traveling to get down in our place. ”
“ Whatever you think best, darling, ” Janna said dutifully. She squeezed his arm. He kissed her.
And so the limousine reached the spaceport and they got aboard the ship.
Their honeymoon on Doe was like a brief visit in a unflawed Eden. The admirations of Tranai ‘s small Moon had been built for lovers, and for lovers merely. No man of affairs came to Doe for a speedy remainder ; no predatory unmarried man prowled the waies. The tired, the disillusioned, the obscenely hopeful all had to happen other runing evidences. The individual regulation on Doe, purely enforced, was two by two, joyous and in love, and in no other province admitted.
This was one Tranaian usage that Goodman had no problem appreciating.
On the small Moon, there were hayfields of tall grass and deep, green woods for walking and cool black lakes in the woods and jagged, dramatic mountains that begged to be climbed. Lovers were continually acquiring lost in the woods, to their great satisfaction ; but non excessively lost, for one could circle the whole Moon in a twenty-four hours. Thankss to the soft gravitation, no 1 could submerge in the black lakes, and a autumn from a mountaintop was scaring, but barely unsafe.
There were, at strategic locations, small hotels with dimly illuminated cocktail sofas run by friendly, grey barmans. There were glooming caves which ran deep ( but ne’er excessively deep ) into phosphorescent caverns glistening with ice, past sulky resistance rivers in which swam great aglow fish with ardent eyes.
The Government Marriage Council had considered these simple attractive forces sufficient and had n’t bothered