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Encyclopedia Galactica

Little Wheel, Spin And Spin

Little wheel, spin and spin,
Big wheel, turn around and around.

- Buffy Sainte-Marie -

It was early evening when Daneel called Fallom to him. "What´s the matter, Jemby?" she asked. (Of course she had realized a long time ago that he was not Jemby, the robot who had raised her, but she´d kept calling him this as a kind of pet name.)

Daneel looked at her (he always thought of Fallom as she), grown up now, tall and graceful and with the strange Spacer beauty, and said slowly, "I´ve got to talk to you."

His voice sounded so tired that Fallom looked up in concern. "Yes?" she answered, a little shakily. Daneel laid his hand on her shoulder. "I´ve made a decision," he said. "You and I have formed a mini-Gaia together, and your brain is not bound by any robotic law-" here he paused and looked at the young Solarian, who shifted uneasily in her chair.

"I think we should try to reach out for Gaia," he finally said, more firmly than before.

"Do you think you can manage it?" Fallom shrugged. "Well...I´m not sure..."

She remembered all those times when she had connected her mind to Daneel´s. All those pictures an impressions, memories on 20,000 years...

"How can we manage it?" she asked after a while. "Do we have to go there?"

Daneel shook his head. "That´s not necessary. I can reach Gaia, but they can´t reach me, remember?" Fallom didn´t answer with words, but she let Daneel know she remembered indeed. Talking had long been unnecessary for them, but sometimes they still did it, out of habit. "We will open our mind to Gaia to make the connection mutual," Daneel told her.

"When this is done we´ve made the first step to Galaxia. It´s a small step, I know, and there´s a lot of work before us, but we´ll have many people to help us then."

In her mind (no, in our mind, Fallom thought) the young Spacer saw the picture of a galaxy, with a tiny red dot representing Earth´s moon. Suddenly a connection between this tiny red dot and another one (Gaia, most probably) appeared, and from Gaia it spread on and on, until suddenly the whole galaxy had become one, like the neurons in a brain or the nerves in a body. And she and Daneel felt the joy and pride of having reechoed their goal. "It will be wonderful," Fallom sighed.

Daneel looked at her, proud but also a little worried. "You´re ready, then?"

Fallom nodded. "Yes, I think I am." "It may be dangerous," Daneel went on. "I don´t know how our mind may react to such a contact, and some of these days you´ll have to go on alone, my little Fallom..." The Solarian took Daneel´s hand into hers. " I know. But we have to try, haven´t we?" "You´re right," Daneel said. "Let´s get on with it."

Some hours later they sat together in the transparent dome Daneel had installed so that Fallom might be able to watch the stars. The ribbon of the galaxy, sharp and clear because the moon had no atmosphere to blur it, shone brightly above their heads.

There was something deeper than words about them, trust maybe and understanding-and when they established contact to Gaia they both felt the joy and satisfaction Gaia felt, the joy of being alive and communicating with so many others.

I wish Giskard was here, Daneel thought. He would have liked it... Then he turned to Fallom.

"Ready?" "Ready." When they opened their mind to Gaia it was like getting into a whirlwind, thoughts, sights, emotions and memories racing through them, dizzying, overwhelming...

it was fearful but somehow thrilling, like the strip races Elijah Baley had told Daneel of ages ago.

After a while, just when they thought they coudn´t stand it anymore, the turmoil died down; it felt like the calm after a heavy storm. Fallom sighed contently and enjoyed drifting through Gaia´s collective conscious, being a small part of the whole. It was not losing one´s individuality, as she had feared, but gaining a new feeling, the feeling of being a part of the whole, of being needed and wanted...and Daneel felt the same.

I´ve gone a long way, he thought. And this is the beginning of a new age, of a new time; I´m sure this is what the Zeroth Law meant. He drifted again, feeling Gaia all around him.

But then, some time later, he (and Fallom with him) interrupted the contact, like someone suddenly waking from a dream. "That´s enough for today," he said, "we´d better rest now. The first step lies behind us, and we´ve deserved, haven´t we?" Fallom nodded. "But it was great," she said. "Just think how Galaxia will be!" She fetched her flute, unable to express what she had felt otherwise than with music, and when she played her music was like a pattern, like a ribbon weaving itself among the stars, like the energy of life that fills both animate and inanimate matter...and for the first time in his long life Daneel felt like singing.

©1996/99 Nathali Gutz

 

Copyright ©1997-9  Mike Carlin Last Modified: